China’s Newest Missiliers

July 20, 2011
Gregory Kulacki
China Project Manager

                                        (Click to play video)

China’s Second Artillery, sometimes referred to as China’s strategic rocket forces, recently graduated its first female missile brigade. The group of 35 women, including 4 officers, completed the final steps on their 15-month journey toward certification as Chinese missiliers this month. According to the broadcast, 91.4% of the group has completed the U.S. equivalent of a 2-year community college education. Their average age: 23 years old.

Their final test began with a launch order sending them on a long journey outside their base area that included camping in the wild, putting up camouflage and conducting anti-countermeasure exercises. They launched their short-range missile at an unspecified location above 3,000 meters and hit their target.

While the CCTV film clip bears all the hallmarks of a classic piece of People’s Liberation Army propaganda, there is an authenticity to the excitement these young missiliers convey after completing their launch certification requirements in record time. “It’s hard to find the language to describe this feeling,” says the young woman standing at attention for her interview. The photo of the group in the news article is even more expressive.

Posted in: China

Tags: China

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Gregory Kulacki is an expert on cross-cultural communication between the United States and China. Since joining UCS in 2002, he has promoted dialogue between experts from both countries on nuclear arms control and space security.