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Highlights of 'Peace Mission 2012' joint military exercise

By Fan Yongqiang (Xinhua)

13:14, June 15, 2012

The "Peace Mission 2012" joint anti-terrorism military exercise of the armed forces of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) continued on June 13, 2012 in the Khujand city of Tajikistan. Wang Zhenguo, deputy chief director of the Chinese side of the Joint Directing Department of the "Peace Mission 2012" joint exercise and deputy chief of staff of the Lanzhou Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), accepted an exclusive interview by the reporter from the Xinhua News Agency and explained in detail the highlights, special background and initial results of the exercise.

"One of the major highlights of the joint exercise is the establishment of a unified body for the exercise's directing and campaign command," said Wang Zhenguo.

Unlike commanding their own military troops respectively in the past joint exercises, the Joint Directing Department of this exercise appointed only one chief director which was taken by the Tajik army commander, and each of the other participating countries appointed one person as deputy chief director respectively. The Tajik side appointed one person as chief commander of the Joint Campaign Headquarter, and each of the other participating countries appointed one deputy chief commander respectively.

Wang Zhenguo said that this joint exercise attaches special importance to the practice of the Joint Campaign Headquarter. As a result, this subject was repeatedly practiced for at least 5 days in the 7-day-long exercise period, aiming at truly upgrading the joint command capability of the commanders from all the participating sides and the coordination and cooperation ability of the command authorities.

He added that to date, the command authorities of all the participating countries can launch unified operations under the unified order, marking that this joint exercise has achieved its expected results.

"During the joint exercise, all the participating sides highlight the upgrading of the exercise's actual-combat level as an important point to formulate the tactics and organize the operations based on the principles of workability and effectiveness," said Wang Zhenguo.

Wang Zhenguo said that for example, during the actual-troop deducing, the commanders at various levels even clearly determined the assault formation and the shooting gestures of the participating soldiers, namely "You should take the gestures in the exercise just like you should do in the actual-combat conditions, not the good-looking gestures unsuitable for actual-combat condition."

In the same exercise field, the frequently asked question among the military personnel from different countries during their exchanges is "How do you assess the military troops of our side."

"Actively asking the other sides to 'find fault with our side' shows a kind of in-depth mutual-trust," said Wang Zhenguo. The frank and in-depth exchanges of views and opinions among the participating officers and men is in favor of the real improvement of the capability of all the exercise-participating sides for their joint response to the security threats and challenges, and at the same time, also shows that the military cooperation among the SCO member states has reached a new high level.

By Fan Yongqiang

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