Navy puts training initiatives afloat

10:55, May 11, 2011      

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The Chinese navy has assigned thousands of highly-trained professionals to serve on large warships and new submarines, suggesting the country is making firm strides in building a stronger naval force.

"Given the fact that a series of new large warships, submarines and aircraft has been put into service, the navy has been intensifying the training of professionals who are supposed to fill the key posts," said Senior Captain Xia Ping, director of the personnel department under the Political Department of the People's Liberation Army Navy.

"We have arranged special training on command expertise for commanders of large warships and for submarine captains during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) period," Xia told a working conference on navy personnel on Monday.

"The selection and assignment of thousands of commanders and crew members for large warships as well as new submarines have been successfully completed, which substantially guarantee the tests of new equipment and personnel training schedules," the senior captain was quoted as saying by, the website of the official Xinhua News Agency.

The conference was held amid a spate of online reports by the country's military enthusiasts, with increasing speculation from Western media, that China's first aircraft carrier is reportedly nearing completion and will soon begin sea trials.

Xia said the navy has made great efforts to train commanders and has formed an exchange mechanism to rotate officers through various posts.

During the past 10 years, the academic status of the navy's commanders has significantly improved, Xia said, noting the navy had its first captain with a doctor's degree in 2001, and now more than 100 captains with a master's or doctor's degree are serving in the navy.

He further anticipated that during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) period, the navy will recruit or train more than 2,000 doctoral-degree holders.

In the past five years, more than 20,000 university graduates have enlisted in the navy, with more than 300 top technical specialists being sent to famous domestic and overseas institutions for study, Xia added.

The navy has also made a remarkable number of technological achievements during the same period.

More than 1,500 research projects conducted by the navy were given awards by the government or the military, with four winning the country's top award for science and technology, according to Xia.

Starting last year, the navy began to recruit female high school graduates and servicewomen in the People's Liberation Army to train as China's first female captains, he said.

Source:China Daily
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