The "Lanzhou" guided missile destroyer under the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is performing a training mission in the Western Pacific Ocean on April 14, 2013. Battling against the strong wind and wild waves has become a norm for the officers and men on board for years.
From their last return to Sanya after the completion of high-sea training mission on April 3 to their leaving Sanya for the high-sea training again on April 10, both the "Lanzhou" warship and the "Hengshui" warship had only seven days to rest and recuperation.
The continuous high-sea training missions are not only a great test on the reliability of equipment but also a tempering on the physical and mental training level for personnel.
Despite time pressure, everything from logistics supply to personnel preparation, equipment support and many others was going orderly and smoothly.
Prior to the departure, crates of vegetables and fruits were moved into cold storage by the officers and men of the "Lanzhou" warship who had only a short period of time to prepare adequate materials for this high-sea training. "Such a short time of rest and recuperation is not a problem for our logistics department," said Fan Hai, deputy captain of the "Lanzhou" warship.
In contrast to the ship service department, the electromechanical department seems slightly busier with managing the main engines of the ship, the power stations and the sea water desalination equipment. During the 7 days, they were busy with various types of mechanical maintenance. "After the last high-sea training, the overall performance of equipment is still excellent," said Qi Yao, electromechanical chief of the "Lanzhou" warship.
Wang Min, political commissar of the "Lanzhou" warship who entered the PLA Navy for service in 1989, recalls that a long time was required to prepare the ship for the patrol around the Xisha Islands in the 1990s. "At that time, there were fewer missions, so you were allowed a long time to prepare. Now, our high-sea training missions are all scheduled so densely that we are required to have sustained combat capabilities".
After nearly six months of shore training, Tang Mo, a 22-year-old college-student crewman, boarded the "Lanzhou" warship in September of 2012. Since then, Tang Mo participated in all the high-sea training missions with the "Lanzhou" warship.
"The first time when I went out to sea, I got dizzy and vomiting. Now, I have overcome these difficulties," said Tang Mo.
Li Yongqi, medical officer of the "Lanzhou" warship who has been in service for 12 years, understands this all too well. "In the past when we went out to sea, there used to be more vomiting people on the ship. Now, there's virtually none. The number of the comrades-in-arms who came to me for seasickness has also decreased. They are all able to stick to their posts," he said.
"The fact that we can set sail after brief rest explains that our ships are having better and better ability to implement high-sea missions, and the crewmen have become more and more adaptable to the life of high-sea training," said Feng Ruisheng, political commissar of the high-sea training taskforce and political commissar of a destroyer flotilla under the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy. "The continuous high-sea training has greatly tempered the sustained combat capability of the ships."
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