The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Tibet Military Command recently organized large-scale joint exercises in a snowy plateau region, in which the troops operated some of the PLA’s latest weapons and equipment and practiced multidimensional tactics with the goal of target elimination. The drills involved the use of live ammunition, different time periods and terrain as well as all types of combat elements. Held at an elevation of about 4,500 meters, the Snowfield Duty-2021 exercise featured more than 10 brigades and regiments affiliated with the PLA Tibet Military Command and set the theme of joint, multidimensional combat in plateau and mountainous regions.
Kicking off the exercises, a combined arms brigade mobilized and maneuvered to the mission area under the cover of darkness, and launched the first wave of attacks at midnight, as artillery forces rained down munitions on hostile reconnaissance and early warning facilities using howitzers and multiple rocket launcher systems, before destroying hostile communication centers and helicopter pads. It showed the combat capabilities in joint plateau operations of the PLA forces and their determination in safeguarding China’s border and the stability of Tibet. In the early hours in the second day of the drills, a reconnaissance unit took vantage points by getting to the peak of a 6,100 meter mountain.
They set up observation positions and provided guidance for precision strikes on key hostile targets behind defense lines. Amid the heated combat, an intelligence reconnaissance brigade started electromagnetic disruption of hostile communications facilities, giving the troops another advantage. Anti-aircraft batteries deployed by a defense brigade launched missiles to intercept hostile aircraft, clearing the sky of enemy threats, and that was when the main forces – tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and assault vehicles – pushed forward to capture hostile positions.
Attack helicopters of an army aviation brigade took off for additional multidimensional fire support, as the artillery positions were exposed and the self-propelled howitzers and multiple rocket launcher systems had to be relocated.
The exercise comprehensively explored the combat performance of all the units and all the weapons and equipment, as they further enhance combat capabilities of joint operations, precision strikes, high-efficiency damage and comprehensive logistics support in high-altitude regions. Supporting the march, sappers cleared vital lanes of obstacles with explosives, and transport helicopters carried scouts who landed deep behind enemy defense lines for infiltration missions. Logistics support units kept sending munitions and food to the frontline, keeping the troops in good combat status as they broke through enemy defense lines before noon. After neutralizing all enemies and seizing control of all hostile positions, the troops switched to the defense, marking the end of the drills.