By Luo Shunyu and Tu Ling
The Chinese parade formation passes the reviewing stand at the opening ceremony of the Tsentr-2019 (Center-2019) drill. Photo by Luo Shunyu.
ORENBURG，Russia, Sept. 16 (ChinaMil) -- On Sunday, local time, the multinational Center-2019 (Tsentr-2019) strategic drills kicked off at 12:00 p.m. at Donguz training range in Orenburg, Russia. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Yunus-Bek Evkurov, Commander of the Central Military District Lt. Gen. Alexander Lapin, as well as commanding officers of participating forces from China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and India all delivered speeches at the opening ceremony.
During his speech, Lt. Gen. Liu Xiaowu, the Chinese commanding officer of the joint directing department and the Deputy Commander of Chinese PLA’s Western Theater Command, said that the drill is a concrete practice to implement the promotion of China-Russia relations by two heads of state into a "comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era". It is also an important platform for deepening the pragmatic military cooperation and increasing mutual trust among various countries in the region. On the basis of mutual trust and mutual benefit, China is willing to conduct in-depth exchanges and cooperation with the participating officers and soldiers in the joint drills, and improve the capability to jointly counter the new threats and challenges to international terrorism and regional security, as well as play a positive role in maintaining regional peace and stability.
The participating troops maneuvered to the drill area after the opening ceremony.
It is reported that the drill will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the strategic command determines operations and formulates the combat plan, commands the troops to deal with the "enemies’" air strikes, conduct reconnaissance and search, and organize defense deployment. In the second phase, the multinational forces cluster will be commanded to implement intensive fire strikes and launch a full-scale attack against the "enemies".
The Chinese troops’ participation in the drills reflects the deep cooperation between the Chinese and Russian armed forces in joint operations, from the aspects of strategic setting, guidance and adjustment, campaign command, and actual military exercises. It is also a test and practice of the commanding capabilities of the joint campaign commanders of China. The Chinese participating troops consist of a land operations combat group, an air combat group, a special operations commandos and a command support team. According to the standard of combination, modularization and specialization, the Chinese participating troops focus on reconnaissance, strike, assault and other drill subjects, and mainly carry out intensive firepower strike, three-dimensional breakthrough, split breakthrough, situation control and other operational actions.
Battlefield parade and commendation ceremony will be held after the completion of actual military operations.