Friday, April 28, 2017

The Group Army is dead, long live the Group Army!

The PLA reform takes another giant step this week -- the surviving Group Armies will be re-organized into 13 larger and more powerful outfits, their number would range from 71st to 83rd (Here).  Yup, the lineage of all those well-known GAs, such as the 42nd, 38th, 39th, 1st, and 13th, are now at an end, not with a bang but a whimper



China to regroup PLA Army

Source
    Xinhua
Editor
    Zhang Tao
http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2017-04/27/content_7580712.htm

BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Central Military Commission has decided to reorganize the Army of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Defense Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said Thursday.

Yang said that 13 army groups will be formed from the previous 18.

The move is a crucial step to build a strong and modernized new-type army and is important to shifting the focus of the PLA from quantity to quality and efficiency, he said.

In response to a question on reform of military academies and research institutions, Yang said that the reform aims to adapt to the new command system and military structure, as well as to provide talent and theoretical and technological support to the building of a first-class military force.

The reform is now underway, he added.



PLA group armies to get greater role
SourceGlobal Times
EditorYao JianingT
ime2017-04-25

Air force, navy, Rocket Forces to be included in group armies: expert

A largely overlooked official report has uncovered the latest changes in China's group armies, which suggests the groups will consist of different corps in the future, experts said.

The 76th Group Army is the newest designation of China's group armies made public after China announced a military reshuffle with 84 newly adjusted or established corps-level units, news site caixin.com reported.

A notice released by the government of Gaotai county, Northwest China's Gansu Province on April 18 said Wang Kai, vice chief-of-staff of the Western Theater Command of People's Liberation Army (PLA) and Cao Junzhang, the vice commander of PLA's 76th Group Army, visited a local Red Army museum.

Both Wang and Cao are from the 13th Group army which used to be part of the former Chengdu Military Region, caixin.com reported.

"The change in designation is significant. In the past, armies only included the PLA army, but in the future, the air force, navy and Rocket Forces will also be included in the group armies and given a new designation," Song Zhongping, a military expert who served in the Second Artillery Corps (now known as the PLA Rocket Force), told the Global Times on Monday.

The previous designation, which only belonged to the army, is not suitable for the new group army, and the new group armies will be considered a big unit command during war, Song said.

This will fundamentally change the structure of China's military, according to Song.

The group armies are the main part of the PLA, and its structure, duty and combat capabilities will be changed significantly after this reform, but the reform takes time, and the change in designation is just the first step, Song elaborated.

The reform is not limited to the PLA Army. An anonymous PLA Navy officer told the Global Times that the 1st Group Army's 1st Division will be commissioned in the PLA Navy's Marine Corps, and this division will be in charge of offensives after Marine landing operations.

The Global Times has received no official confirmation of this information.

http://eng.chinamil.com.cn/view/2017-04/25/content_7575815.htm






Friday, March 31, 2017

40th Group Army, decommissioned.

It has been confirmed that the HQ of the 40th Group Army (GA) is now history. Its organic units with high readiness rate and newer TOE will likely be merged with neighboring GAs.  Such as the 118th Combined Arms 8x8 Light Mechanized Infantry Brigade will likely to be part of the 39th GA moving forward.. Others units such as 119th and 191st Motorized Infantry Brigades with their older TOE will will probably be disbanded all together.

According to South China Morning Post,  the 14th, 16th, 20th, 47th, and 27th HQs will be decommissioned next.

Thanks Andrew KC and  Forbin for the confirmation.

Graphic credit goes to South China Morning Post

Photos of the day: A glimpse inside a PLAN Type039A (Yuan-Class) submarine.

The Yuan class is currently the workhorse of PLAN's diesel-electric submarine fleet.  Surprisingly, internal photos of this class is rare, so here are some.



 Nice SLR Camera







Thursday, April 27, 2017

China's retired nuclear-powered submarine opens to public



  The decommissioned "Long March-1" nuclear-powered attack submarine, pennant number 401, berths at the port of the Chinese Navy Museum in Qingdao City, east China's Shandong Province, on April 23, 2017. As China's first domestically-produced nuclear-powered submarine, it was built in 1970 and commissioned into the PLA Navy in 1974. After 40 years of service, it was decommissioned in October, 2013. The vessel is now open to the public at the Chinese Navy Museum at the Port of Qingdao City, East China's Shandong Province. (81.cn/ Lai Yonglei)









Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chinese Domestic Aircraft Carrier Launched!



This morning in Dalian the first 100% domestic-produced aircraft carrier was launched. This new ship is "001A Class", representing a Chinese reinterpretation of the Soviet "Kuznetsov Class" design. This launch brings the total number of Chinese carriers in the water to two. Previously Dalian shipyard completed and launched CV16 LIAONING (ex-VARYAG) after a deep study of its design.





Comparison of bow view, 001 LIAONING vs 001A CV17:


Video of launch sequence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQzIAnkPNkY

Congrats PLAN!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Photo of the day: CV17 Shandong 4/11/2017

The predicted launch date of April 23rd (the 68th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Navy) seems completely possible. 


Sunday, April 09, 2017

Photos of the day: PLAN Marine with their Chinese RQ-11 Raven SUAV

Also noted is the new "special operations regiment" training for "anti-terrorism" operations


Marines perform reconnaissance mission in anti-terrorism drill

  A Marine assigned to a special operations regiment of the PLA Navy prepares to release an unnamed aerial vehicle (UAV) during an anti-terrorism combat training exercise at an unfamiliar territory in China's Hainan Province on April 6, 2017. (81.cn/ Sun Hongtao)





Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Long expected, the third PLAN Marine Brigade is now here.

The commission of the third PLAN Marine Brigade should come as no surprise since "with great power comes great Marines".  The current two-Marine Brigade ORBAT simply does not have the manpower to fulfill all those new "historical missions" the PLA high command has planned for them.  The question is really about which PLA ground unit will be transferred to the navy and how soon.

The first PLAN Marine Brigade commissioned on May 1980.  164th Motorized Infantry Division, 41st Army Group Army transferred to the Chinese Marine Corps as the 164th Marine Brigade on July 1998.  This new Marine Brigade is another army transfer, this time from the 77th "Yimeng/沂蒙" Motorized Infantry Brigade, 26th Group Army, Jinan MR/ Northern Theater Command.

The 77th is a proud PLA outfit, commissioned by the CMC on December 1945 and participated in some of the major campaigns during the Chinese Civil War (The Battle of Luannan, the Battle of Laiwu, the Battle of Menglianggu, the Battle of Kaifeng, the Battle of Huaihai, the Battle of the Yangtze River, and the Battle of Shanghai).  It also took part in the Second, Fourth, and Fifth campaigns of the "War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea".


Yimeng Brigade's unit sleeve insignia can be seen from the picture above  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

ZTL09 8x8 Wheeled Light Tank to the PLAN Marine??

ZTL09 8x8 Wheeled Light Tanks sporting the now-famous "Blue Smurf" camo were spotted in Sanya City, near the HQ of the PLAN Marine.  Rumor has it that they are now getting those wheeled new toys to increase their mobility for MOOTW and non-amphibious operations.  Time will tell.



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Photos of the day: PLAN Marine anti-terror training pics










Saturday, January 02, 2016

Send In the PLAN Marine

Shortly after the passage of new law authorizing the PLA to conduct counter-terrorism operations overseas, the PLAN marine now heads to Xinjing for some baptism of fire under "desert conditions".    Coincidence?


Chinese marines leave for military training in Xinjiang
Source: XinhuaEditor: Dong Zhaohui
2016-01-02 16:250

GUANGZHOU, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Chinese marines will be deployed in the next few days to a training base in northwest China's Xinjiang to begin their first military exercise of 2016.

As the Chinese military expands its training sites and conditions, the Xinjiang base gives troops a real combat situation under desert conditions.

Previous drills were conducted at a training base in north China's Inner Mongolia, cold regions in northeast China, and in highland jungles.

The drill will improve troops' fighting abilities "in a wider area, a larger space and in a more complicated environment," said a military source.

The soldiers will be transported via a 5,900-kilometer route from southern province of Guangdong to Xinjiang by train, air or truck. Their mobilization, desert combat tactics and coordination will be tested, and they will also carry out a combat exercise with an infantry division of the Lanzhou Military Area Command.

Photos from last year's Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) drill








Sunday, December 27, 2015

New Law Allows PLA to Undertake Counterterror Missions Overseas



China's new counter-terrorism law has made it legal for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to participate in counterterror missions overseas.
The PLA and the country's armed police forces may carry out such operations with the approval from the Central Military Commission, says the law adopted by top legislature on Sunday.
Public security and national security authorities may also send personnel overseas for counter-terrorism missions, with the approval from the State Council and agreements from concerned countries.
The law also stipulates that related departments, authorized by the State Council, may collaborate with overseas governments and international organizations in holding policy dialogues, communicating on intelligence information, enforcing the law and regulating international capitals.
The new law comes at a delicate time for China and for the world at large - terror attacks in Paris, the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over Egypt, and the brutal killings of hostages committed by the notorious Islamic State (IS) extremist group are alerting the world about an ever-growing threat of terrorism.
It will provide legal support to the country's counter-terrorism activities as well as collaboration with the international society, said An Weixing, an official with the public security ministry, at Sunday's press conference.



Monday, April 03, 2017

Another warning shot to the Burma Military.

China Army Carries Out Drills on Burma Border Amid Tensions


By Reuters 28 March 2017

BEIJING, China — China’s military carried out drills along the border with Burma on Tuesday, in a show of force to highlight its resolve to protect its people, state news agency Xinhua said, following clashes between the Burma Army and ethnic rebels.

Fighting this month in Burma pushed thousands of people into China to seek refuge, prompting Beijing to call for a ceasefire between ethnic militias and the security forces.

Xinhua said the joint land and air exercises were part of planned annual drills, but did not say exactly where they took place.

It quoted a Chinese army colonel as saying the exercises showed “the People’s Liberation Army’s resolute resolve” to protect the security of the border and the lives of residents there.
In accordance with existing agreements, China informed Burma’s military ahead of the drills, it added.
China has repeatedly expressed concern about fighting along the border that has occasionally spilled into its territory, for instance in 2015, when five people died in China.
 
 

















 
 

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Limit of China’s Influence?

As the conflict between the Kokang army and the Burmese Military subsides, two unexpected developments have unfolded -- The speed of the Burmese military advance and the limit of China’s influence over the course of the event.

Before the current clash began, the Burmese military seized all reinforcement routes between the Kokang army and its allies making speedy reinforcement difficult. A force of 2,000 Wa soldiers had initially come to the assistance of the Kokang, but they retreated Friday. The Karen army is now under Burmese attack and it was also unable to send reinforcements. In addition, Bai Souqian, The Kokang Army’s second in command, defected to the Burmese military with 200 troops and opened the town of Laogai to allow for Burmese occupation. After a week of fighting with hit-and-run tactics and mortar strikes from nearby hills, the 700-strong army fled when two additional Burmese divisions (7000 troops) arrived in Laogai. After reaching the safety of Yannan, they handed their weapons to the Chinese authority and purchased civilian clothing. The Kakang Army suffered minor causalities and is currently safe inside China. However, their future viability is in question.

The Chinese government issued a rare statement to the Burmese Government to "properly handle domestic problems and maintain stability in the China-Burma border region." China has taken care of the refugees but it seems they have done little beyond that: there was no active support to the Kokang Army as others have suggested. The failure of the Chinese Government in preventing this conflict and the mass exodus of ethnic Chinese puts into question China's capability of maintaining peace in this region. While China supports the Burmese Government in preventing ethnic groups from seeking independence, she failed to live up to the “quid pro quo” role of protecting Burma's minorities (here)

All in all, it was a well-planned and well-timed operation by the Burmese Military in a classic divide-and-conquer move and so far they have succeeded in their objective of routing the Kakang Army with minimal casualties and without strong China interference. They've now moved their attention to the next target, the Karen.

The real loser of this battle might be the Kokang civilians as their lively-hood has been looted by the advancing troops and their autonomy replaced by a “Kokang Region Provisional Leading Committee” under the control of the Rangoon government. Since the cease fire of 1989, the Kokang has become one of the few economic “bright spots” and a busy regional trading center (the planned route for Burma’s largest natural-gas pipeline from western Burma to China runs near the Kokang region). Returning civilians can only hope that their new Provisional Leading Committee does not kill the goose the laid their golden egg.


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/world/asia/31iht-myanmar.html?ref=asia

August 31, 2009
Myanmar Army Routs Ethnic Chinese Rebels in the North
By THOMAS FULLER

BANGKOK — The Myanmar military has overwhelmed rebels from an ethnic Chinese minority in the northern reaches of the country, the junta’s second victory over armed opponents in three months.

The routing over the weekend of the forces of the small, Chinese-speaking Kokang ethnic group gives Myanmar’s governing generals momentum in their campaign to quell armed opposition before elections and the adoption of a new Constitution next year.

Several well-armed groups, notably the Wa and Kachin, still stand in the way of the junta’s goal of complete control over the country. But a recently announced agreement of solidarity among the rebel groups, which had the potential to slow the central government’s advance against the Kokang, may be fraying.

The Myanmar government’s strategy, analysts say, appears to be to challenge the groups one by one and to try to capitalize on the many factions within each group.

In June, the military defeated ethnic Karen insurgents along the border with Thailand, aided by a local militia of Karen Buddhists who led an attack on forces that were largely made up of Karen Christians.

To defeat the Kokang, the small ethnic group in the north, the junta allied itself with a defector and chased out troops loyal to the Kokang’s chairman, Peng Jiasheng.

A force of 2,000 Wa soldiers had initially come to the assistance of the Kokang, but they retreated Friday, according to Aung Kyaw Zaw, a former rebel based on the Chinese side of the border. This appeared to undercut a mutual-assistance agreement that the rebel groups reached several weeks ago.

Late on Sunday, Myanmar’s official media broke their silence on the fighting with a television broadcast announcing that clashes had ended and providing what appeared to be a preliminary death toll of 26 members of government security forces and 8 Kokang militiamen, The Associated Press reported. “The region has now regained peace,” the official announcement said.

Chinese state media said that two Chinese citizens had also been killed in the fighting.

News services reported from southern China that Kokang forces were continuing to flee across the border into China on Sunday on the heels of what United Nations and Chinese officials estimated were as many as 30,000 civilian refugees. Nearly half the estimated 1,500 members of the Kokang militia have crossed the border and handed their weapons to the Chinese authorities, according to Mr. Aung Kyaw Zaw.

The central government’s assaults on the Kokang, which began last week, have put other ethnic groups on alert, according to Brang Lai, a local official in the Kachin headquarters in Laiza, along the Chinese border.

“People are very concerned,” Mr. Brang Lai said in a telephone interview. On the Chinese side of Laiza, residents have put Chinese flags on their roofs in the hope that they will be able to avoid any additional fighting. Officers from the Myanmar military’s Northern Division were in Laiza over the weekend to call for calm, Mr. Brang Lai said.

Followers of Mr. Peng, the Kokang’s chairman, were spotted by reporters on the Chinese side of the border buying civilian clothes to replace their militia uniforms.

“There was no way we would win,” Ri Chenchuan, a Kokang rebel, said as he shopped for new clothes, The A.P. reported.

The Myanmar government has signed more than a dozen cease-fire agreements with ethnic groups over the past two decades, but the fighting with the Kokang raised questions about the military’s intentions.

Aung Din, executive director of the United States Campaign for Burma, an advocacy group that opposes the junta, said the generals apparently had adopted a more aggressive posture, partly influenced by the Sri Lankan government’s military victory over Tamil rebels in May.

Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, met with Myanmar’s generals in June in what was his first overseas trip after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers. The visit might have inspired Myanmar’s senior general, Than Shwe, who has spent much of his military career battling ethnic groups, Mr. Aung Din said.

“It was an encouragement to the regime to do away with the insurgency once and for all,” Mr. Aung Din said. “Their thinking has changed.”

The motives and strategies of Myanmar’s leaders have long been difficult to divine. General Than Shwe is a very secretive man and the state-run media are highly selective in their reporting. The report on Sunday evening was the first time they had mentioned the campaign against the Kokang.

The fighting appears to have strained Myanmar’s relations with China, especially since the Kokang are ethnically Chinese. The Chinese Foreign Ministry warned Myanmar on Friday to “properly handle domestic problems and maintain stability in the China-Myanmar border region.”

Analysts said that the Chinese government had asked Myanmar’s generals to refrain from initiating military campaigns before the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on Oct. 1.

In that light, China could view Myanmar’s campaign as provocative, especially since China is a large investor in Myanmar and plays the role of the junta’s protective big brother in the United Nations and other international forums.

Mr. Aung Kyaw Zaw said he suspected that the Myanmar generals wanted to demonstrate their independence to Chinese leaders. Their message, he said, is that “if we want to fight along the border, we can fight.”

“This is a political game,” he added.
 
 
 

Saturday, September 05, 2009

More photos from Kokang.

Judging from those photos, the fight between the Kokang army and the Burma military (Tatmadaw) was done mostly by small arms.









Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) today. Last week, it was reported that after reaching the safety of Yannan, they handed their weapons to the Chinese authority and purchased civilian clothing.






Nice Norinco Type 81.