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China builds oxygen-rich barracks for soldiers in Tibet mountains

June 28, 2010

Saibal Dasgupta, TNN
Times of India
June 27, 2010

BEIJING -- The People's Liberation Army in China
has come up with the first batch of ecological
oxygen-enriched barracks for use by troops posted
in the oxygen deficient mountain regions of Tibet
across the Indian border. It means lesser
dependence on oxygen cylinders and higher
performance for soldiers, the PLA research team has reported.

This is one of the several recent innovations
reported by Chinese defense establishment that
include reduction in take-off time for ship-based
helicopters, reorganizing the layout for
multi-functional training ground in the slopes of
Inner Mongolia and running digitalized medical
services, according to the official media.

Oxygen enriched barracks built at a height of
4,500 meters at the Naqu Military Sub-Command in
Tibet involved using plants to generate
additional oxygen in a special activity room and
barracks with floor space of 1,000 square meters
and 3,000 square meters, respectively. Soldiers
using these facilities during exercise were found
to have 10% higher oxygen level in the blood as
compared to the outdoors and relieved of the problem of plateau anoxia.

The harsh environment with 48% oxygen as compared
to the hinterland has been a cause of worry for
the PLA, which found a large number of soldiers
suffering from altitude diseases as alopecia and
nail dent. Ecological experts including botanists
and altitude disease pathologists were brought in
for an on-the-spot investigation in the largely
unpopulated area. This is what resulted in the
creation of barracks that use plants to generate
additional oxygen, the official media said.

The official media recently touted the efforts of
the military command in Inner Mongolia to rework
the ground layout for shooting and hand-grenade
training as a major achievement. The landscaping
work involved taking advantage of natural land
formations like slope, ridge and pit on the banks
of Argun River at the China-Russia border to
prepare four training facilities in a small area.

The Chinese navy managed to reduce the time it
takes for a ship based helicopter to get out of
the hanger and take off by four minutes early
this week. This was done by combining and
reorganizing several steps in the process
launching helicopters during an exercise in the
middle sea area of the Gulf of Aden close to the
pirate infested Somalia coast on June 23.

"We arrange a multiple of subjects including
low-altitude flight, ultra low-altitude flight,
hovering, sliding and landing on the ship in a
flight sortie to all-roundly improve the
psychological quality and flight skill of the
pilots under complicated meteorological
conditions." Cui Ao, captain of the helicopter
crew of the "Guangzhou" warship, was quoted in the official media as saying.
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