By Chu Ying and Zhu Jie
The International Army Games (IAG) 2019 is about to commence from August 3 in 10 countries including Russia, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, etc. With the opening date approaching, it has attracted much attention worldwide. The IAG this year would be much more competitive and confrontational, with new competitions introduced to create a competitive battlefield environment.
According to reports, the event will be on an even grander scale, involving 206 teams from at least 30 countries. Mongolia, India and Uzbekistan offered to undertake some competitions, adding the host countries from 7 to 10. Besides the Russian Federation armed forces, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations and some of the most powerful Russian departments will also send their competitors. Russian experts said that the aim of hosting the IAG is to bring allies and partners closer through military competition despite Western containment.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has specially set up a website to introduce the IGA in details including contents, rules and conditions of the 32 competition items. Compared with the previous event, the newly added four competitions closely reflect actual combat. Among them, the “Sayan Range March” Snowfield Combat and March Competition has concluded in advance on February 21. It is also the first time that the IAG has expanded its winter competition.
In the Snowfield Combat and March Competition, participants are required to complete 50-kilometer marching on snow-capped mountains at an altitude of 3,000 meters in two days, in the form of a mountain combat team or squad, during which 11 professional subjects are assessed in separate regions, including precise positioning and measurement, live fire shooting, rope climbing, rescue and material transportation in mountainous conditions. The Russian competitors have won the first prize in competition with Angola and Tajikistan. Krasnaya Zvezda, an official newspaper of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense, named the March Competition an actual combat exercise under extreme conditions. However, Russian airborne troops considered it daily routine. They also carried out a 7,000-kilometer relay march on snowy road this year.
Another eye-catching newly added competition is “Polaris” Special Operations Teams Competition. The contestants must complete the subjects including air landing and assembly, battlefield search and rescue, night battle and crossing minefield in six stages, with customerized “combat environment” and “combat contents” being set for them. Russian experts believed the contestants’ mental toughness could be strengthened in face of battlefield stress. “This is the unique charm of military competition”, they added.
Another two new competitions are also particularly attractive due to the uniqueness of contestants, which are the “Accident Area” Nuclear Accident Emergency Rescue Competition and the “Equestrian Marathon” Cavalry Units Competition.
The “Accident Area” Nuclear Accident Emergency Rescue Competition will be attended by the military personnel from several powerful Russian departments, and be divided into three stages which are the special track, the mightier relay and the winner sprint. During the first stage, the two participating teams will set off at the same time to complete 20 small projects on the 1600m-long “special track”; the final stage of the competition will focus on testing the quality of individual contestant. Subjects like firefighting, crossing fire-assaulted zones under smoke and nuclear-contaminated areas require team coordination. The Russian team is mainly composed of the 12th Chief Directorate of the Russian Federation Defense Ministry. Currently, Vietnam and Cambodia also signed up for the competition.
The “Equestrian Marathon” Cavalry Units Competition will be held in Mongolia and participants from four countries will complete 14 subjects like shooting, obstacle-crossing and bombing, in a 130km-long riding. This is an innovative subject which will attended by the combination of “10 people plus 10 horses”.
In a word, with well-designed battlefield environment and actual combat requirements both in traditional competitions and new ones, the IAG 2019 is definitely a military event worth waiting for.