A 1st: PLA soldiers visit US base for drills
Updated: 2015-11-23 11:22
By Linda Deng in Washington State(China Daily USA)
Chinese and US soldiers practice in the filed of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA on Nov 20 that simulates the transporting of an injured person for medical treatment after extracting him from a collapsed building. It is the third joint drill for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief between the US military and the People's Liberation Army of China. Linda Deng / China Daily
Practicing to bring more timely response to disaster victims
About 70 military personnel from the Chinese People's Liberation Army joined their US counterparts for humanitarian aid exercises at US Air Force's Joint Base Lewis-McChord outside of Tacoma, Washington, on Nov 19-23.
It was the first time that ground-level Chinese PLA army officers and soldiers visited an Army base in the continental US for military exercises.
"We can enhance collaboration so we can bring a more timely response in a humanitarian disaster," said Maj Gen Edward Dorman, commander of the Army's Hawaii-based 8th Theater Sustainment Command.
"This exercise has helped the two sides better understand each other so we can jointly maintain regional peace and stability," said Maj Gen Zhang Jian, commander of Hainan provincial military region, at a joint press conference after the drills on Nov 20.
It was the third joint drill for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief between both counties. The goal is to enhance both countries' disaster management capabilities, improve US and China dialogue in preparation for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts, benefit from mutual lessons learned and improve bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
"The Multinational Coordination Center, which is newly established this year, creates a good platform for face-to-face communication and better dialogue. The exercise is richer in content this time. The exercise has two parts: the command post exercises and the field exercises. A total of 140 soldiers from both countries participated in 12 earthquake rescue-related exercises and 13 medical-related ones," Zhang said.
"The event underscores the commitment of both the United States and China to building military-to-military relationships, partnerships, and prove our collective capability to respond to disasters in the Pacific region," said Lt Gen Stephen Lanza, commander of US Army 1 Corps.
The Joint Drill for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief began in 2013. The last one was hosted by the PLA in the Guangzhou military region of China in January of this year.
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