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1st Amphbious Mechanized Infantry 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 PLA started to organize and establish its new-type amphibious mechanized troops in 1999. The division has had two equipment renewals within 10 years. Its new-type amphibious combat vehicle equipped with domestically made top-notch information-based weapons including anti-tank guided-missile system, fire-control computer and laser rangefinder is superior in land and sea maneuvering performance and strong in firepower, possessing strong comprehensive protection capability and high information-based level. Its deployment marks that the amphibious combat equipment of the PLA army has reached world advanced level.

Currently, the officers and men of an amphibious mechanized division can drive the amphibious assault combat vehicles for limit training of maritime, super-long-distance and direct-sailing attack in organic troop units. The newly-equipped amphibious self-propelled howitzers are also incorporated into the echelon for landing drill so as to provide strong fire cover.

In autumn of 2009, the PLA three services conducted a joint combat drill. During the drill, an amphibious mechanized division successfully established a command information system for the first time which connected various campaign and tactical levels of the troop units of the three services participating in the drill, organized and accomplished combat operations including joint fire strike, joint maritime defense, ground-air electronic confrontation and multi-directional three-dimensional breakthrough, marking the transformation of the PLA armys amphibious operation from the single-arm operation to the joint operation of the three services based on information system.

After long-distance maneuvering, hundreds of combat vehicles of an amphibious mechanized division under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) reached a beach for maritime assault training in mid August 2012. The Nanjing Military Command Area held a live-ammunition drill landing combat troops. Three landing ships carrying armored forces landed near the shore, releasing dozens of amphibian tanks. The troops underwent a simulated attack using live gunfire starting about 3 kilometers from the shore. They used a smokescreen device to conceal their movements, and their assault was supported by remote artillery fire.

More than 10,000 soldiers and 1,000 armored vehicles took part in the drill, which lasted for more than 20 days in August. Landing craft and combat vessels from the navy, and the air force's ground attack aircraft, bombers and fighter jets, as well as attack helicopters from the ground force's aviation wing also played big roles in the drill. The troops faced unexpected difficulties, such as a typhoon, and examined and improved their joint operations.




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