Winter came. Four missile troops, positioned a few thousand kilometers apart from each other, were holding drills simultaneously on the mock battlefield each under distinct weather conditions. From plateaus to valleys, from forests to deserts, the missile troops were improving their combat capability through arduous training. These troops belong to the Second Artillery Force of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
The Second Artillery Force of PLA test fires a missile. [File photo]
The Second Artillery Force of PLA, China's strategic missile force, has guarded the security and dignity of the country for 45 years with its advanced technologies, high adaptability and comprehensive tactics.
To gain the initiative in battles, a missile force and its weapons have to adapt to various situations. Carrying fragile equipments, the troops would travel under extreme weather conditions from baking heating to freezing cold and through rainstorms and hurricanes in days and nights. They would collect and analyze tens of thousands of data bits recording variations in parameters and performances in different geographical environments. A series of adjustment measures would be taken to enforce the strength and adaptability of weapons under all kinds of circumstances. The trainings would improve the force's conduct and control, responsiveness, survival skills and combat abilities both offensively and defensively.
To better adapt to modern wars, a special "blue team" was formed to simulate the future informatization combat capabilities by spying on, monitoring, confronting and electronically interfering the "red team," in a bid to improve the combat ability of the whole force. The "blue team" was composed of young soldiers with an average age of 27. All of them had bachelor degrees or higher, and more than half of them had experiences in the missile troops and were familiar with foreign armies. Wearing distinctive uniforms and logos, they were equipped with advanced battlefield environment simulation cars and precision guided weapon systems.
Technologies have greatly improved the strength of China's strategic missile forces. The successful development of the automated missile testing system has elevated China to the advanced ranks in the world; its establishment of large automated command system has stepped up the paces for the force's modernization.
The force has completed the construction of over 100 key labs on researches of national defense technologies, including labs for different disciplines and labs for fundamental teaching. Organizations of science and technology at all levels, an advisory committee of specialists, a military theory guiding committee and an equipment academy have also been built to integrate the scientific, technological resources.
The Second Artillery Force of PLA was founded in secret in the 1950s, named by Zhou Enai, the first premier of the People's Republic of China. Instead of calling it "Strategic Missile Force," the premier called it the "Second Artillery Force" after the existing ordinary artillery force.