PLA holds first air and ground forces joint drill on plateau

In this golden autumn, a joint drill among multiple arms of the Army and the Air Force troops of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was carried out on the plateau with an elevation of more than 4,500 meters in west China. It is the first joint actual-troop drill of the PLA air and ground troops under information-based conditions in the frigid area with a high altitude.

At the very beginning of the drill, the new-type warplanes of the PLA Air Force conducted accurate strikes at the main targets of the “enemy” with various new weapon systems. Shortly after seizing the commanding point, the long-range guns launched full-scale shooting at the command post and the artillery position of the “enemy”. Thereupon, under the cover of the army aviation troops and ground anti-aircraft missiles, the armored vehicle group and infantry combat vehicles branched out into various columns and made a sudden and violent attack on the mountain passes occupied by the “enemy”. The special operation detachment outflanked the “enemy” and raided the “enemy’s” command post.

At a mountain pass 5000-odd meters above the sea level, the armored vehicle group and the infantry combat vehicles broke through the interdiction barrage of the “enemy” in succession, advancing into the depth of the mountains. At another mountain pass with an elevation of 5,000-plus meters hundreds of kilometers away, the aviation troops of the PLA Air Force screened the ground troops to seize the commanding point.

Conducting military operations on plateau with an elevation of more than 4500 meters is an extreme challenge to both human health and weaponry performance. To ensure the success of the air-ground joint drill, the chemical defense support group, engineering support group, logistics support group, equipment support group and field first-aid support group took relevant actions in succession.

Liu Xing’an, Guo Fengkuan and Liu Yinghua
Photo by Liu Yinghua