PLA Xinjiang troops upgrade training to boost counter-terror, border patrol efforts

By Zhang Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/12 17:43:39

Multi-type attack helicopters attached to an army aviation brigade with the PLA Xinjiang Military Command (MC) lift off for a coordinated flight training exercise in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on January 24, 2018. Photo: courtesy of Wu Shike

A Chinese army aviation brigade stationed in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has upgraded its training in high-altitude and in adverse weather, a move that experts say will facilitate counter-terrorism and border patrol missions under extreme conditions.

The brigade conducts 44 percent of its training at night. High-altitude and tactics training increased by 40 percent compared to last year, the Xinjiang Daily reported on Sunday.   

Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Monday that frequent exercises in an area with extreme weather and a complicated geographic environment prepare the military unit for different combat situations at any time.

The biggest challenge for aviation units in Xinjiang is low visibility caused by sandstorms and contrasts in temperature between night and day, Wei said.

"The training guarantees the aircraft are well maintained and soldiers are ready for combat," he noted.   

In addition to training under extreme weather conditions, the army aviation unit also improved takeoffs and landings in varying terrain, like hillside slopes and narrow spaces. The stability of flights in valleys also improved, the newspaper reported.

The report said the 12-hour flight exercises have become a new norm, which Wei said "enhances the unit's ability to transfer soldiers at far distances within a short time span."

The aviation forces will quickly deploy soldiers, and will therefore be "efficient in strikes against terrorist activities," Wei said.

The region's long border and complicated topography means effective aviation forces are necessary in routine missions like border patrols, he noted. 

Posted in: MILITARY

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