By Gan Zuoyu and Sun Libo
BEIJING, July 23 (ChinaMil) -- Even in midsummer, it was still cold in the plateau hinterland of west China at an altitude of over 4,300 meters.
Just after a military exercise, two detailed summary reports were placed on the table at a meeting of a brigade under the PLA Western Theater Command. One report illustrated how the combined attack group’s efficiency to break the barrier was greatly increased by deploying unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for delivering explosives remotely. The other one elaborated the un-neglectable effect of plateau environment on the digital equipment’s function and how it has directly influenced the troops’ combat capabilities in high and cold mountainous region.
This was the first time that the brigade has held the realistic combat training on the plateau since its reestablishment. During the past one-month-long exercise, officers and soldiers of the brigade have studied and practiced combat and training methods and accumulated operational data under harsh environmental conditions. So far, all the brigades of the army under the PLA Western Theatre Command have conducted military drills in the high and cold mountainous region according to routine training plan to temper the troops’ combat capabilities.
Conducting drills regularly on the plateau has not only increased the difficulty and intensity of training subjects, but also expanded the scope and breadth of integration. Since its first actual combat training on the plateau in 2016, the army under the PLA Western Theater Command has conducted live-fire exercises for its combined combat groups. As China’s reform on defense and military going on, more emerging new combat powers went to the plateau area frequently. Now, it has become normal for various troops from over 10 different arms of the PLA’s Ground Force to station in the plateau area and conduct military drills including synthetic training and air-ground coordination.
A special operations brigade conducted drills together with the army aviation troops every year, refreshing the record of parachute-training on the plateau several times. An army aviation brigade conducted realistic combat training in plateau area for four years in a row and worked out a series of training difficulties, ranging from a new-type gunship acquiring combat capability in the high and cold mountainous region to a flying battalion in complete unit conducting drills on the plateau for the first time.
Last year, for the first time, the army under the PLA Western Theatre Command and its subordinate group armies set the battle command post on the plateau at the altitude of above 4000 meters. This year, the ground force of the PLA Western Theatre Command sent a permanent training instruction team to station at the high altitude region and all its subordinate group armies moved their headquarters to the high altitude region in complete unit.
A senior staff officer of the army under the PLA Western Theatre Command said that such movements as the change in the stationing altitude of combatant command have brought about the changes including intensifying combat consciousness and refreshing operational concepts. This year, they conducted complex training exercise in the high altitude regions, with all training subjects being completed without rehearsal or trial flight and all participating troops autonomously carrying out reconnaissance and strike, the staff officer added.
In short, normalization of actual combat training in the high altitude regions has promoted the ground forces under the PLA Western Theatre Command to establish the perfect operational combat data base matching plateau environment and overcome more than 100 plateau combat problems, and helped dozens of new weapons and equipment to form combat capabilities in plateau area as soon as possible.
According to a leading officer of the army under the PLA Western Theater Command, in the second half of this year, the ground forces of the West Theater Command would keep on conducting research and demonstration on some operational theories and subjects so as to form a more perfect combat training system in the plateau area.