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PLA's 'Red First Company' innovates to hone edge

By ZHANG YANGFEI | China Daily | Updated: 2021-07-27 09:54
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Efficient training

In 2017, the Chinese military began undergoing a series of reforms. To adapt to modern warfare, the company also formulated new development plans.

It was the first unit in its brigade to set up a special room dedicated to combat research. The room has a database of tactical and combat-related information and also displays models of major military equipment from home and abroad.

The company's officers and soldiers are divided into 13 warfare research groups to carry out regular studies on equipment, cases, tactics and strategies, and training methods, and discuss military dynamics, the use of firepower and cutting-edge technologies.

Sergeant Miao Hui, a squad leader, says "innovate or perish" is his motto. In the past, when the company trained for shooting at night, at least 10 soldiers needed to sit under targets to light them up with flashlights. Although the company had access to other equipment, its controls were very cumbersome, Miao said.

Miao bought wires and remote control devices and started experimenting. Without any knowledge of electrical circuits, he studied all the books he could find and kept pestering the company's technicians to learn circuit principles.

After repeated failures, he managed to design a control circuit for 10 spotlights, allowing the commander to control them remotely and vary the length of time the targets are illuminated, greatly improving training efficiency. This innovation helped the company improve its night shooting accuracy by 20 percent.

That spirit of innovation has, in recent years, encouraged the company to explore 13 new training methods, develop eight training aids, including a laser simulation calibration system, and produce five types of software.

"Old equipment is constantly being updated, so our training methods and equipment also need to catch up and our training ideas must also constantly innovate in order to keep up with the standard required of the army in the new era," Miao said.

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