Situated in the depth of the Inner Mongolian Grassland, the Zhurihe Combined Tactics Training Base of the Beijing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is not only Asia’s largest training base but also the PLA’s most modernized training base, the only training base where the PLA can hold group-army-scale actual-troop campaign exercise. An U.S. army officer who once visited the base placed it on a bar with the Fort Irwin National Training Center, the largest training base of the U.S. military.
To meet the needs of future high-tech wars, the Central Military Commission (CMC) decided to expand the original armored force training site of the Beijing MAC of the PLA into the PLA’s largest and most high-tech combined tactics training base in July 1997.
The PLA opened the Zhurihe Training Base to foreign militaries for the first time on August 25, 2003. As Asia’s largest training base, the base covers an area of 1,000-odd square kilometers. Its primary function is to organize troop units at division, brigade and regiment levels to complete combined tactics drills and cooperate with armored force and other arms of the PLA to carry out technical or tactical training.
The CMC and the general headquarters/departments of the PLA confirmed the Zhurihe Combined Tactics Training Base as the PLA Army’s only experimental unit of complex electromagnetic environment construction in 2007. In the first half of 2011, the CMC and the general headquarters/departments of the PLA decided to develop the Zhurihe Combined Tactics Training Base into the PLA Army’s only joint operation experimental field.
With information technology as its support and computer network as its platform, the base integrates five major systems, namely, the directing, adjusting and monitoring system, the battlefield environment simulation system, the computer-aided assessment system, the comprehensive support system and the base management system, and its facilities and equipment rank top in the PLA. Up to now, the base has tested and demonstrated thousands of science-and-technology-related military training results, developed hundreds of new tactics and training methods and tempered hundreds of thousands of troops.