14 pilots serve as acting infantry platoon leaders

China Military Online
Xu Yi
2019-08-20 16:48:54

By Dai Xiangyuan and Ren Fan

BEIJING, Aug. 20 (ChinaMil) -- In mid-August, a batch of special “platoon leaders” was ushered into the infantry battalion of a brigade under the PLA 83rd Group Army. Fourteen pilots will be trained as the acting platoon leaders together with the officers and soldiers of the infantry battalion. Inter-disciplinary service and multi-post training, such a cadre’s growth planning has become a beneficial attempt for the brigade to explore the cultivation of compound talents.

During military training and war preparation, the brigade considered the deep integration of aerial and ground combat professionals to be the key to the improvement of combat capacity. In an air-ground coordinated training, a pilot missed the best fire coverage period due to his unfamiliarity with the tactics of the infantry commander during assault, resulting in the failure of the entire operation. The brigade thereby realized that if the pilots are not familiar enough with the characteristics of ground assault forces, group training methods and operational modes, it will become difficult for them to fully exercise the due powers such as ground attack, seizing and controlling after landing, firepower call and so on.

In this regard, the brigade has arranged pilots below the battalion level to take on duty during the infantry battalions training in the past two years. In taking advantage of field training and large-scale exercises, it has trained the combat skills of acting cadres in alternate appointment, and strived to create a group of pilots featuring "fine flight skills, having expertise in assault, good combat coordination and commanding ability”.

Pilot Wang Haiyang is the first compound battalion-level commander trained in the brigade. At the beginning, it was hard for him to transfer from flight specialty to ground position, but with increased practices in the ground post, the effect of integration training became more and more evident. Today, he can both fly the jet fighter in the blue sky and organize the ground assault detachment to charge.

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