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Russia-China anti-terror drills enter active phase

The active phase will last through December 9

BEIJING, December 7. /TASS/. The joint anti-terror drills of the Russian Guard’s Special Forces and the Chinese People’s Armed Police dubbed Cooperation-2017 have entered their active phase, according to the Russian Guard’s press release obtained by TASS’ Beijing office on Thursday.

The special tactical drills are taking place in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China, at the foothills of the Helan Shan Mountains and at the boundary of the Gobi Desert.

"Over their stay in China, the Russian Special Forces have adapted themselves to the local conditions: a dry climate without precipitations with daily temperature swings from plus 5 degrees Celsius in the daytime to minus 20 degrees Celsius at night and to the meals represented by a variety of both traditional spicy and sour-sweet Chinese and European dishes," the press release says.

Drills’ most spectacular phase

The drills’ combat cohesion measures were followed by their active and most spectacular phase. The Special Forces’ four composite groups of 15 men each switched to accomplishing joint tasks as part of their units, the press release says.

The active phase envisages practicing the personnel’s prompt delivery to the designated areas by aircraft. For these purposes, China’s Z-20 and Z-18 helicopters are being used to land troops without parachutes with the help of ropes through a central hatch. The Special Forces are practicing this exercise without any special appliances, which helps them descend quickly and immediately switch to operations.

At the sites of the Chinese People’s Armed Police’s training center, the groups are practicing search and assault measures in urban conditions. The exercise is being held in a multi-story building where the troops are sharpening their Alpine skills and also in a specially created area simulating various urban infrastructure facilities - cafes, offices, apartments of residential buildings and others.

The training exercises are taking place in an environment close to real combat operations. The troops are using stun grenades, smoke pellets and strikeball weapons while a notional enemy is simulated by servicemen of the Chinese People’s Armed Police.

Video cameras installed inside training areas are recording data to assess the Special Forces’ operations. A detailed analysis is conducted after each training exercise is fulfilled.

Setting hostages free

An exercise to free hostages held in captivity in a transport vehicle is another element of the active phase. After the tragic incident when an armed criminal seized a bus with Chinese tourists in Manila on August 23, 2010 and eight hostages were killed after an abortive assault by the Philippine security forces, the Chinese People’s Armed Police has been paying considerable attention to this aspect of the anti-terror activity, the press release says.

The drills’ active phase will last through December 9 and end with a field march. During three days, the troops involved in the Cooperation-2017 drills will be jointly accomplishing tasks far away from their permanent bases and in harsh conditions of the mountainous and desert terrain.