By Hao Zhaojian and Jiang Shuai
BEIJING, Aug. 21 (ChinaMil) -- A total of 80 officers and soldiers of the first echelon of China's 3rd peacekeeping helicopter detachment to Darfur, Sudan, boarded the IL-76 transport aircraft of the Chinese Air Force and set out from Nanyuan Airport in Beijing for one-year peacekeeping mission on Tuesday morning.
The helicopter detachment, consisting of officers and soldiers from the PLA 82nd Group Army, was divided into an aviation company, a maintenance company and a logistic support company, with 140 peacekeepers in total. Their duties mainly include air patrol, battlefield reconnaissance, and transportation of personnel and supplies.
According to Chu Zhiqin, commander of the peacekeeping helicopter detachment, the detachment had conducted intensive training based on the pre-deployment core training module of the United Nations, focusing on flight driving, emergency response, regulations implementation, self and mutual aid. They also conducted combat drills of camp defense and fleet escort based on their own characteristics and conditions of the mission area.
In addition, the detachment systematically learned the laws and regulations of the UN peacekeeping operations, common knowledge of diplomatic etiquette and the local customs in the mission area, to ensure that their performance meets the requirements for the implementation of peacekeeping missions.
It is reported that the peacekeeping helicopter detachment has two echelons. The 60 officers and soldiers of the second echelon will board the IL-76 transport aircraft and leave for the mission area soon.