A Chinese delegation led by Gen. Chen Bingde, the chief of the general staff for the People’s Liberation Army, spent approximately four hours with soldiers and leadership Thursday at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield as part of their weeklong visit to several military bases in the United States.
The delegation, consisting of seven other Chinese generals, was lifted by helicopter from Hunter to one of Fort Stewart’s live-fire ranges, where they witnessed a combined arms live-fire exercise conducted by soldiers from the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team and the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division.
The CALFEX consisted of U. S. Marine Corps F/A-18 jets from Marine Corps Air Station-Beaufort; Apache and Kiowa attack helicopters from 3 CAB; and tanks, artillery and ground forces from 2HBCT.
Before the exercise began, the Chinese leaders, escorted by 3rd ID Commander Maj. Gen. Robert Abrams, visited the tactical operations center responsible for the execution of the exercise.
Leaders from 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment provided the visitors with an unclassified briefing on the exercise.
Once the briefings were complete, the delegation was able to observe the training exercise.
"It was a historic visit and it was our honor to highlight the skills and independence of the 3rd Infantry Division’s soldiers and NCOs who have sacrificed so much over the past decade," 3rd ID Chief of Staff Col. Roger Cloutier said.
"Additionally, it was a fantastic training opportunity for our soldiers."
This exchange promoted mutual understanding between Chinese and United States military forces, and it will help to expand cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the future as the frequency of cooperative interaction increases.