Servicemen of the Gangba Frontier Defense
Photo by Liu Youfei
Gangba, which means a village at the foot of snow-caped mountain in
Tibetan, has an altitude of 4810m and is called "forbidden zone of life" by
biologists. In 1961, a heroic troop unit received an order, marched there and
shouldered the task of frontier defense in the border area of highest average
altitude and hardest natural condition.
On December 29, 1965, the Ministry of National Defense conferred the
honorary title of "Red Frontier Defense Unit on Plateau" on Zhaguola Sentry Post
of the Gangba Frontier Defense Battalion. In July 2000, the frontier defense
battalion won the honorary title of "Gangba Model Battalion of Patriotism and
Contribution" awarded by the Chengdu Military Area Command.
The officers and men of the Gangba Battalion shoulder the task of frontier
patrolling in nine snow-caped mountains above 5000m and 19 mountain-passes
leading to the outside over the years. On the snow-covered roads with signs of
danger appearing everywhere, generations of servicemen showed their loyalty to
the motherland and the people with their actions. In fact, 20-odd officers and
men have successively sacrificed their lives on the road of patrolling since the
establishment of the battalion.
The Gangba frontier line has enjoyed steady and strong defense for 46 years
owing to the selfless contributions and brave sacrifices of Gangba servicemen.
The General Hospital of Tibet Military Command held physical examinations
for the officers and men of the Gangba Battalion for several times, discovering
that 78% of officers and men seriously exceeded hemachrome standards, while 95%
of them suffered plateau diseases such as hypertension and cardiopathy of
different extend. Even so they did not change their passionate love for Gangba.
In recent years, 22 officers and men voluntarily gave up the opportunities to
work in areas of low altitude and 4 servicemen spontaneously applied to return
to Gangba after graduating from military colleges.
The Gangba Battalion takes the saying of "higher altitude the location is,
higher military training standard we set" as their untiring pursue. Not long
ago, the reporters witnessed one thing in the Gangba Battalion that many
servicemen suffered serious hypoxia and dyspnea and their lips turned purple
color after they repeatedly strided across the trench for 12 times during tactic
training. The company commander Tan Sen led them to inhale oxygen for a short
while, then ordered all of them to return to the training field and continued
the training until their tactic actions reached the standards. So far, the
Gangba Battalion has been awarded the title of "Advanced Unit of Military
Training" by the higher level for six years in a row.
By He Yu, Zhang Tao and Yu Zhilin
(July 27, PLA Daily)