Nanjing: The Operation of Beidou Is Included into Testing Items for the PLA Army’s First Staff Military Technical Contest

The PLA Army’s first staff technical contest officially kicked off in Nanjing on April 23. 210 officers and cadres from military units above the senior level in Chinese military ranking contested with each other in 11 testing items including commanding operation, operation of command and communications equipment, and remote sensing image interpretation.

It was in a military shooting range in Nanjing on the morning of April 24. 210 officers and cadres each wore a battle outfits weighing 20 kilograms. They started precision shooting immediately after a 3-kilometer cross-country running without any adjustments. The PLA Army’s first staff military technical contest was in full swing. This is a practical measure taken by the Party Committee of the PLA Army to make a comprehensive test of and to improve the battle commanding competency of military units of the PLA Army in line important instructions concerning battle preparations and wars proposed by President Xi Jinping.

“We conduct this contest simulating a real battle as much as possible, and achieve breakthroughs in various aspects from the contest requirements to the contest forms, from testing items to the set-up of testing arena, and from the selection of judges to the formulation of judging rules.” According to a leader from the Staff Department of PLA Army, with a purpose to make the contest difficult, strict and resembling a real battle, they insist on selecting contestants, choosing military technical contesting items and organizing judges on a random basis. Elements of real battles are introduced, and the environment is designed with a touch of field war operations. And the contest keeps going on both in day and night as pursuant to proceedings in the battle. With all these efforts, the actual-combat benchmark training has been realized.

Armed cross country, precision shooting, Beidou positioning... Thumbing through military technical contest plans, the reporter noticed that testing items are focuses of necessary preparations for battles, and the evaluation of military techniques give priority to competencies. Not only traditional testing items are covered in the contest, but also highly-informatized communications equipment and Beidou all-in-one operational platform; and in addition to individual items, there are also testing items for groups. Various testing items of high strength have been held in succession and the longest testing item for individual operation has lasted 34 hours without a stop. On the afternoon of April 24th, 5 items were continuously carried out just within 4 hours, including basic theory, remote sensing image interpretation, graph calculation and analysis, fusion situation map, and computer marker mapping.

Unlike the past, participants wore combat dresses, lived and ate in camps, and underwent closed management and discipline inspection. There were many innovations in this contest in terms of the setting of testing items, contest forms, judging methods, and means of monitoring and supervision. Chen Yanhua, a participant from the Organization Office of the 73rd Group Army said honestly: “In the past, paper can be used for computer marker mapping. But this time, we have to do it listening the radio, just like in an English listening test. It is impossible to finish the operation if we are not familiar with the all-in-one operational platform.” The reporter has learned that participants in this contest are decided though a combined way of recommendation by the working unit and random selection, thus to curb the intention of participating units to send excellent personnel for a better performance in the contest; besides, fairness and justness are effectively ensured in the contest as supervising and disciplinary departments are engaged to track and monitor the whole process.

A military technique contest has activated the actual combat and the practical training. To take part in this contest, all people in institutions and organization above the senior level of PLA Army trained themselves for this contest, which has improved the overall quality of advisory staff from those institutions and organization as well as the commanding competency of the people from war and campaign units. Meanwhile, though this contest, a batch of military advisory talents have been trained, problems and gaps in the training of soldiers for battle preparations have been addressed, methods to regulate actual-combat training and assessment have been explored, and a distinct orientation for war and campaign units to research war strategies and battles has been established.