For an army that prides itself on being an expert night fighter it is odd that it has never conducted a joint combat night-exercise with its own air force. Since its founding, the PLAAF’s primary mission has always been air defense. It expanded its mission profile to include interdiction strikes after the adoption of the Su-27 and Jh-7 fighter-bombers. Mud moving for the "poor bloody infantry" is never high on the PLAAF’s priority list -- why would a highly paid air force major need to coordinate with a lowly infantry Second Lieutenant? Maybe because ground troops are more terrified of PLAAF misses than enemy action.
Judging from this video, NVG’s have not been widely distributed.
Army division and air force division conduct joint exercise
(Source: PLA Daily) 2009-10-21
The fighters launch an attack against ground targets. (Photo by Liu Yinghua)
On the evening of October 19, an army-air force joint exercise organized by a motorized infantry division of the Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC) stationed in Yunnan Province and an air force division kicked off in the Wumeng Mountain.
During this exercise, the army and air force commanders were deployed and grouped in a penetrated and combined way in the whole process, therefore, they jointly made decisions, dealt with various situations and organized coordinated actions by relying on the information-based commanding system. The combat commanding model of the exercise was the combination of vertical command and flat command, as a result, the actions of the troops had realized combination at the same time, in the same area and to the same object, through which, the commanding efficiency has been significantly improved.
The two participating sides practiced command, coordination and battle methods in a visible and transparent battlefield environment and finally explored and developed 10-plus new training methods and battle methods for night fighting.
By Xiang Hui and Yang Biao