China has commissioned its first military air ambulance for cross-border army operations, naval missions and evacuation of wounded military personnel.
The Military Transportation Institute under the Logistics Support Department of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) completed the final month-long environmental qualification test on China’s first air ambulance jointly developed through military-civilian cooperation, state-run People’s Daily reported.
As People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops carry out cross-border military operations, such as naval escort mission in the Gulf of Aden, international peacekeeping and joint military exercises, which has made it necessary to have its air ambulance instead of relying on civilian aviation rescue institutions to evacuate wounded and sick military personnel, the report said.
The Transportation Bureau signed a cooperation agreement with the Emergency Treatment Centre of the Red Cross Society of China, Beijing Branch in June, 2016 on using specialised medical rescue aircraft to implement transportation and transfer of the sick and wounded of the PLA.
A special medical aircraft dispatched by the Transportation Bureau successfully brought two seriously injured members of the Chinese peacekeeping force to South Sudan back to China after an 18-hour continuous flight last month, it said.
It was the first wounded soldiers’ cross-border evacuation and transfer operation, the report said.
The Transportation Bureau will carry out in-depth feasibility studies on incorporating the specialised air ambulance into the strategic projection reserve force system of the PLA, the report said.