Monday, September 11, 2017

The second-line PLA units facing the North

The consolidation of border defense regiments into brigades is one aspect of the recent PLA orbat reform that is largely missed by people outside of China.   As of today, there are 11 border defense brigades and 4 coastal defense brigades organic to the Northern Theater Command.   They were consolidated from nine border defense regiments from Heilongjiang, three from Jilin, six from Liaoning and nine from Inner Mongolia.  Plus nine coastal defense regiments from Shangdong.   Prior to the reform,  border defense regiments were subordinated to the provincial military commands, a layer under the old Military Region HQ.

The border defense units might be defensive in nature but they are capable of independent movement.  Their deployment will free up line units from rearguard duties when they advance deep into the North.   While not all border brigades will be deployed, they will count as "boots on the ground" to maintain the peace or to hold a possible insurgency a bay.  A lesson drawn from Operation Enduring Freedom I suppose.  In addition to those guards, the PLA line units can expect support from hundred of thousands of PAP and local police as well.

Northern Theater Command Border Defense Brigade:

321st Brigade
322nd Brigade
323rd Brigade
324th Brigade
325th Brigade
326th Brigade
327th Brigade
328th Brigade
329th Brigade
330th Brigade
331th Brigade    

Northern Theater Command Coastal Defense Brigade:

332th Coastal Defense Brigade (Liaoning)
333th Coastal Defense Brigade (Liaoning)
334th Coastal Defense Brigade (Shangdong)
335th Coastal Defense Brigade (Shangdong)

 Note the QBZ-03 "I hate bullpup" assault rifle the guardsman is carrying 

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