The First Lebanese Peacekeeping Mine Clearance Task by Women Soldiers after 1995

 The First Lebanese Peacekeeping Mine Clearance Task by Women Soldiers after 1995

Three women minesweepers returned from their work. Sun Shuai/Photo

Early summer in Lebanon, the scorching sun, 120 kilometers along the eastern Mediterranean coast of the Lebanon-Israel border, Blue Line region is complex and full of landmines. In mid-June, the eighteenth batch of officers and soldiers of Chinas multi-functional peacekeeping engineering unit, who had just acquired the qualification of mine clearance and explosion clearance, came to the newly opened minefield to carry out the first clearance mission entrusted by the United Nations. Three Chinese women soldiers after 95 were included.

I want to clear the first mine in the new minefield

Report team leader, No. 4 operator mine detector debugged. Hearing the commanders order, Yang Yixin, one of the first female mine sweepers in our army, immediately entered the safe passage, closely followed the warning line and carefully explored the unknown minefields ahead.

Although the heart is tense, the hands are not flustered. Trip line processing, vegetation removal, signal source location, comprehensive excavation, landmine marking... Since the establishment of the Peacekeeping Training Team in March this year, after three months of closed mine clearance professional training, Yang Yixin has been able to skillfully use mine detectors to complete a complete set of mine clearance operations. The young sergeant was honored to have the opportunity to go to the peacekeeping mission area to carry out the mine clearance mission: Although there are challenges, it is also a great honor. I want to clear the first mine in the new minefield.

Zhang Cunning, the supervisor of mine clearance on the spot, witnessed the growth of three female mine sweepers, Lu Yanhong, Yang Yixin and Zhang Huajie, who first stepped into the Blue Line. He introduced that when they first participated in mine-clearing training in China, thin and weak female soldiers had some difficulty, but during the training period, they urged themselves to pressure, constantly enhance the intensity of training, use a little time to learn theoretical knowledge, pass the certification of mine-clearing qualification at one time, and now they have the ability to carry out mine-clearing tasks independently. And they have an advantage over men in being cautious and careful.

Since taking part in mine-sweeping training, the body weight has dropped by more than 5 kilograms, so that the parents can hardly recognize it in the sun. Zhang Huajie, a woman mine sweeper, lamented that during the three-month training period, they had to train six days a week, wear heavy protective clothing and operate various equipment every day. It was normal for them to grind bleeding blisters on their palms. During the training, sweat flowed down from their foreheads and was mistaken for crying by the team leader. I am not as fragile as the team leader thought. Now that I have chosen this task, no matter how hard it is, I will try to complete it.

Although I wasnt appreciated at first, I believe I can break through myself. Lu Yanhong recalled the day when she first joined the training team. The difference between strength and strength of the male soldiers is too big to insist on 45 minutes of work time. The male soldiers advised me to give up, but I still insisted on it.

Men and women are indiscriminate in battlefield

As a female soldier, why do you choose to participate in peacekeeping operations, especially in mine clearance missions with high risk? Faced with many peoples questions, Lu Yanhong, a woman mine sweeper, firmly said, There are no men or women in the battlefield. It is the duty-bound and glorious mission of every soldier to carry out United Nations peacekeeping missions.

It is understood that Lu Yanhong was the only female soldier who participated in the construction of engineering company as a minesweeper during the construction of the peacekeeping standby force of the whole army in 2018. She proved that the female soldier could also be competent for battlefield positions through successful assessment and evaluation. The support of her parents has also become a powerful spiritual impetus for her peacekeeping mission.

Men can do it, I can do it, even better. Yang Yixin, by virtue of his intelligence and meticulousness, memorizes theory knowledge and operation rules quickly, and insists on practicing dumbbells and arm strength in peacetime. He has surpassed many male soldiers in the stage assessment.

Gao Chaoning, commander of the 18th batch of peacekeeping forces in Lebanon, introduced that the participation of women soldiers in United Nations peacekeeping operations was not only a practical measure to put women soldiers on the front line of combat positions, but also a response to the call of the United Nations for more women to participate in peacekeeping missions and achieve gender equality. It is an important window to show the image of Chinese women that Chinese women servicemen go abroad and undertake international peacekeeping missions. Female and male soldiers are equally excellent. They have excellent military qualities. After rigorous and hard training, they can be competent for dangerous mine clearance tasks. In addition, female soldiers are more convenient than male soldiers in protecting women and children.

It is reported that three women mine sweepers are from an engineering chemical brigade of the Armys 75th Group Army. After they participated in peacekeeping training, the brigade attached great importance to the positive significance of women soldiers entering combat posts in the discussion and training warfare. In April this year, more than 10 women soldiers were selected through self-registration, military quality assessment and theoretical study. Mine-clearing and explosion-clearing classes were formed, systematic targeted training was carried out, and efforts were made to forge elite women mine-clearing. Hand, reserve follow-up force for overseas peacekeeping battlefield.

I hope everyone here can take every step with confidence.

Not long ago, three women minesweepers walked into the real minefield. The steep mountain minefields were full of thorns, rusted barbed wire fences, red-bottomed white skull warning signs, and occasionally bare landmines, which reminded people that this was a dead zone.

It is understood that the minefield is about 400 metres in front and 60 metres in depth, with a total area of more than 20,000 square metres and a mission period of six months. The main part of the minefield is the No. 4 anti-infantry mine laid by Israel in 1978. According to the minefield maps provided by UNIFIL Command, there are more than 1800 mines.

Life first, safety first! Cao Xiang, head of the mine-clearing team of Lu Yanhong, introduced that shouting safety slogans was an essential part of the daily mine-clearing task for the officers and soldiers. They cleaned strictly in accordance with the United Nations standard operating procedures for mine clearance, tested the sensitivity of mine detectors every 15 minutes, cut vegetation without exceeding the maximum detection depth of mine detectors - 20 centimeters each time, and marked the moving position with obvious markers when moving the benchmark forward. The team leader must follow up the whole process to supervise and guide the sweeping. Thunderarm operation.

Zhang Huajie went into the safe passage and carefully detected it with a lightning detector. After 30 centimetersadvance, the lightning detector emitted a rapid dripping sound. She marked the location of the signal source with a small red wooden bar. After 15 minutes of digging, it was determined that the signal source was a rusty nail. Zhang Huajie went on.

Drops and drops... Yang Yixins mine detector sounded a rapid alarm with a high frequency. From the scene, it was determined that there was an Israeli No. 4 anti-infantry mine buried in the soil. After reporting to the head of the demining team, Yang Yixin decided to mine locally. She knelt down on her knees, 20 centimeters from the benchmark, went down to the top with a shovel, right to left, and advanced to the source position in an increment of 50 millimeters. During this process, Yang Yixin also cut grass roots in the soil, treated rocks, and dripped sweat along the tip of her nose. Twenty minutes later, the mine was successfully discharged.

3, 2, 1, detonate!

With a loud noise, the hillsides of the Blue Line region along the border between Lebanon and Israel trembled, and strong shock waves rolled up dust and smoke.

When you dig out the first mine in your life, you feel that you have conquered yourself and overcome your inner fear. Yang Yixins joy in clearing the Israeli armys landmines was overflowing. She said that in a dangerous environment, there are some tensions in the process of detection and excavation. It is necessary to concentrate highly and work meticulously according to the standard process in order to ensure the safety and success of mine excavation.

I hope everyone here can take every step with confidence. This is the common wish of three women mine sweepers.

Source: Ding Xuwei_NBJS8671, responsible editor of China Youth Daily