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124th Amphibious Mechanized Division

Sometime in 2000 or 2001 the 124th Motorized Infantry Division was redesignated as the 124th Amphibious Mechanized Division. The PLAs main amphibious forces are the six group armies (GA) nearest Taiwan, which total as many as 300,000 troops with varying degrees of amphibious equipment and proficiency. The specialized forces are the the 1st Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Division of the 1st GA of the Nanjing Military Region, and the 124th Amphibious Mechanized Division of the 42nd GA of the Guangzhou MR.

The 124th Amphibious Mechanized Division conducted at sea in areas along East Guangdong in late August 2002. The exercise involved "dozens" of amphibious vehicles and entailed loading at sea, moving from shore to sea, moving from ship to shore, and attacking shore targets. This exercise followed another set of exercises that were conducted in June 2002 in the same general area that focused on the same concepts. [Guangzhou MR Zhanshi Bao 17 Sep 2002 (PLA Activities Report Sep 2002)]

An unidentified mechanized division (the 124th Amphibious Mechanized Division is the only mechanized division in the Guangzhou MR) completed the replacement of its old equipment with a large quantity of "hi-tech" main battle equipment sometime in Fall 2002. The process of modernizing its equipment took roughly two years according to reports and also included extensive training of the divisions soldiers to insure proficiency. [Guangzhou MR Zhanshi Bao 29 Oct 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]

A Liberation Army Daily story identified Li Guofo as the commander of a mechanized division that had conducted field training exercises in Lingnan (south of the Five High Mountains) and had recently been equipped with new tanks and armored personnel carriers over roughly a year timeframe. Li Guofo was identified within the 2002 Directory of PRC Military Personalities as the commander of the 124th Amphibious Mechanized Division.



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