Chinese troops from their first overseas base took part in their first live-fire drills in a show of combat readiness. The exercise on Friday in the African country of Djibouti took place at the national training range and involved dozens of troops according to a People’s Liberation Army Navy press release.

Troops arrived at the base – China’s first overseas garrison – less than two months ago and the drill was meant to test the personnel’s capacity to handle a range of weapons and tasks in extreme heat, humidity, and salinity, the report said.

This is the first time our soldiers stationed in Djibouti have left the camp to conduct combat training,” base commander Liang Yang was quoted as saying.

“The live-fire training will help explore a new training model for the [Chinese] overseas garrison.”