He Xianda: From a cook to an "ace operator"

China Military Online
Lin Congyi
2022-10-24 16:38:33

Editor's Note: The delegates to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are outstanding Party members with remarkable achievements. They are selected from and trusted by more than 96 million members and more than 4.9 million grass-roots organizations of the CPC, embodying the pioneering nature of the CPC and carrying the expectations of the Chinese people. China Military Online is publishing a series of stories to elaborate the outstanding deeds of some delegates.

He Xianda is guiding operators in missile launch operation training. (Photo by Liu Mingsong)

In a training range in South China, a brigade of the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF) was conducting a missile launch drill. Along with the order issued, several operators immediately rushed to the missile launcher. After sophisticated operations of the launcher, they successfully hit the simulated target.

Upon the completion of the drill, He Xianda, Master Sergeant, Class-I from the 1st missile launching battalion of the brigade, who is also a delegate to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), immediately organized evaluation and summary of the exercise to find out the weaknesses in command planning and weapon operation and came up with measures for further improvement.

He Xianda, a first-class operator and first-class commander of missile launcher of the brigade, is proficient in operation skills for more than 10 posts and has got involved in the compilation of more than 20 professional textbooks and more than 40 operating instructions.

It is hard to believe that He started his service in the PLA as a cook. Like the other PLARF soldiers, He also dreamed of sending missiles to the sky with his own hand. However, He was assigned to the cooking squad of a company after finishing recruits' training.

Yet, He Xianda didn't give up his dream. He managed to do a good job in the cooking squad while studying knowledge and skills required for operating missiles. Half a year later, in a military skills competition that involves the entire brigade, He stood out with excellent performance and was thus appointed as an operator responsible for missile transshipment. 

Since growing into a master in missile transshipment, He Xianda took the initiative to take lessons in missile launching and has become the first noncommissioned officer in the brigade to act as the "leading operator" in the missile launcher.

Several years ago, the brigade ushered in a live-fire training exercise, and the missile to be launched in the exercise was the 100th missile the brigade had ever launched. Except for He Xianda, it was the first time for the other operators assigned to the mission to launch a real missile, including 3 rookies.

He led the other operators to go through arduous training of required skills, and they all got the "admission ticket" for the 100th missile launch task as scheduled.

On the very day of the live-fire training exercise, as He Xianda issued the order of "fire" on time, the missile was blasted into the sky and precisely hit the target. The success of the launch not only announced the birth of one more combat unit with live launch experience, but also marked the commencement of missile launching for the PLARF under extreme temperature conditions.

Over the past years, the squad with He Xianda as the squad leader has triumphed in 22 military skill competitions and won the first place in the brigade's 10 missile launching assessments.


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