By Yang Qingmin and Xu Chunlong
GUILIN, July 17 (ChinaMil) -- The Army of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) concluded the first assessment and contest of its special operations forces (SOF) —“Ingenious Special Operations Soldier -2018” on Monday in Guilin, Guangxi Province.
During the 9-day assessment and contest, 870 SOF officers and soldiers from the PLA Army were divided into 4 categories of commanding HQ, detachment commanders, SOF teams, and SOF individuals and took part in the fierce competitions of 64 subjects, including interpretation of remote sensing image, multiple weapons shooting, and consecutive special operations.
The officer in charge from the PLA Army said, “The assessment and contest covered all basic and compulsory training subjects of the special operations of the PLA Army.” In order to test the effects of military training and warfare preparedness in a comprehensive and real manner, the participants are selected through recommendations and computer-generated random draw lots.
The contest focused on assessing and testing the commanding HQ's ability to effectively plan and use special operations forces, detachment commanders’ ability to command special operations, SOF teams’ ability to conduct operations, and SOF individuals’ stamina, skills, and intelligence.
The reporter saw during the contest, at a temperature up to 40℃, the SOF soldiers took part in 16 consecutive subjects including lurking at night, fast-roping from helicopter, driving in complex road conditions, and conducting sniper attacks and so on.
Organized by the PLA Army, the assessment and contest is the first of its kind for the PLA Army's special operations forces since the Army was restructured in 2015. The assessment and contest is aimed to select and train the top SOF soldiers and discover the problems with the SOF during its build-up and development.