BEIJING, July 12 (ChinaMil) -- The Firepower-2016 Qingtongxia cross-region military exercise kicked off Monday at a training range at the foot of the Helan Mountains in northwest China.
The exercise, scheduled to develop in five echelons, i.e. A, B, C, D and E, is designed to beef up the overall combat capability of artillery force of the Chinese PLA Army.
In the next two months, five artillery brigades from five theater commands of the PLA will fight one by one with a brigade from the 47th Combined Corps under the Western Theatre Command.
According to a leading official of the Staff Department of PLA Army, the sequence for the five artillery brigades to participate in the exercise has been determined by drawing lots. The exercise plans are designed based on the predetermined combat missions of the artillery brigades in their respective strategic directions.
An artillery brigade from the 31st Combined Corps of PLA Army took the lead to engage in the first echelon of the exercise, while an electronic warfare regiment, an air defense regiment and a military hospital also sent troops to participate in the drill. Previously, the brigade had completed strength delivery by air, railway and highway transportation. The long-distance maneuver covering more than 2,500 km crossed eight provinces from southeast coastal region to the deserts in northwest China.
Commander Duan Changlin of the brigade said that it is the first time for his brigade to participate in such a large-scale and highly intensive cross-region exercise. He believed the exercise will help improve the capabilities of his troops to rapidly and effectively respond to constantly changing battlefield situations.