The first batch of Chinese officers and men participating in the joint anti-terrorism military exercise coded "Peace Mission 2007" to be staged by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries set out from Turpan, Xinjiang on July 20 for Chelyabinsk of Russia, where the exercise will be held, thus commencing a 10,300 km-long trans-national transportation journey.
"This will set a new record in the history of our armed forces in troop projection and will likewise be an unprecedented test and temper of the remote mobile ability of our armed forces, and for that mater, it is of extraordinary significance", said Chen Jianmin, a research fellow with the Academy of Military Sciences of the PLA, who has been involved in the study of Russia for long and participated in the Sino-Russian joint military exercise "Peace Mission 2005".
Besides railway transportation, there's also the 2700 km-long projection by air and several thousand kilometers of ferrying of the army aviation troops participating in the joint anti-terrorism exercise. Therefore, the long distance massive mobile movement makes one of the focuses of attention in this exercise.
Chen briefed that strategic projection ability was an important part of the crisis response ability of a country and for that reason, all major military powers have attached great importance to the build-up of strategic projection ability and to the drill to that end.
Many military experts still clearly remembered the "Mobile 2004" exercise of the Russian forces. In the exercise held in May 2004, the Russian armed forces transported by air more than 800 officers and men, 70 armored vehicles and 40 automobiles of its 61st Air Force Group Army to the coastal region of the Far East of Russia from its European territory in several hours.
Chen Jianmin observed: "The purpose of the Russian Defense Ministry in organizing that exercise was to test the remote mobile ability of the Russian troops. The powerful long-distance project ability will provide Russia a mighty support for rapidly building up its combat forces in dealing with crisis in the neighboring regions.
Chen Jianmin held the view that by putting the Chinese forces participating in the "Peace Mission 2007" joint anti-terrorism military exercise through the long distance and large-scale projection in organic units with heavy weapons to overseas would render the Chinese forces a hard-won opportunity to temper the remote mobile ability.
In addition to honing the ground forces and testing the ability of railway transportation, it would also steel the remote delivery ability of the Air Force and the remote mobile ability of the Army Aviation troops. "It will accumulate valuable experience for the Chinese forces to participate in overseas joint military exercises and international peace-keeping operations, and will put forth new requirements for building up the strategic projection ability of our armed forces."
Source: PLA Daily