Hongshanzui Border Defense Company of the Altay Military Sub-Command under the PLA Xinjiang Military Command is located in the valley deep in the Altai Mountains. Each year, the mountain is sealed with snow from October to the next May, and the land traffic to the company is completely disrupted.
In late January, the company kicks off its annual troop rotation. The helicopter flew 10 sorties between the regiment headquarters and the outposts of the company sealed in the snowy mountains to transport more than 15 tons of Spring Festival goods and the rotation troops.
"This time the company has replenishment of more than 60 kinds of supplies, including vegetables and fruits, recreation and sports facilities, and equipment used in military training and guard duties. Due to the harsh natural conditions in the mountains, the border defense task is very hard, especially in the winter season when the mountains are sealed by ice and snow. We must provide the best support for the soldiers." said Colonel Li Jianli, commander of a border defense regiment of the Altay Military Sub-Command.
There were 11 new recruits in the rotation troops this time. They have been assigned to the Hongshanzui Border Defense Company and stranded at the regimental headquarters for more than a month because the land traffic in the mountains are blocked by heavy snow.
Widespread fog flowing in the valleys caused by heavy snowfall in the past consecutive days made the visibility decrease greatly.
"This route is characterized by complex terrain and narrow valleys. It is easy to fly into the wrong valley and get lost. Especially when special situation occurs, there is relatively small room for disposal. So the crew will study the route carefully before each flight." Chen Huijie, a pilot of an army aviation brigade under the PLA Xinjiang Military Command.
After more than an hour of intense flight, the barracks of the Hongshanzui Border Defense Company finally emerged in the distance and seen from the window of the helicopter, the barracks are like a small island in the sea of snow..
Besides of the Spring Festival goods, the Hongshanzui Border Defense Company received a special medal-awarding ceremony. The company was awarded as an advanced collective last year, but the troops of the company were unable to attend the awarding ceremony held by the regiment because the mountains were sealed by heavy snow. Taking advantage of this troop rotation, the regiment planned to hold an award-giving ceremony especially for the company.