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PLAAF communications consists primarily of communications and navigation aids. Communications Troops (tongxin bing) are organized into administrative elements, as well as regiments (tuan), battalions (ying), stations (zhan), companies (lian), teams (dui), equipment repair factories (qicai xiupei chang), and equipment warehouses (qicai cangku). 

The PLAAF Communications School was established in September 1957. The Communications Engineering Academy (tongxun gongcheng xueyuan) in Xian is a four year school, where cadets graduate with an undergraduate degree (benke) in military science (junshixue xueshi). The 1990 freshman class had 1300 cadets.

 The Beijing MRAF has an annual communications competition in December, which consists of ten events. Preliminary competition takes place in September or October. 


The command staff at a communications regiment has at least the following personnel: 

- Commander

- Political commissar

- Chief of staff (Director, Headquarters Department)

- Director, Political Division

- Director, Logistics Division

The regiment also has a Party Committee (dangwei) and Party Standing Committee (dangwei changwei). The Standing Committee consists of the command staff, and the Party Committee consists of the command staff plus the commander and political director of each subordinate battalion.                          




The regiment's administrative organization consists of a Headquarters Department (siling bu), Political Division (zhengzhi chu), and Logistics Division (houqin chu). Unlike radar, SAM, and AAA regiments, which have a separate Maintenance Division (jishu chu), the communications regiment's Logistics Division is responsible for maintenance. A typical communications regiment consists of about 1600 personnel.




Each MRAF Headquarters has a communications battalion and subordinate transmitter company. The battalion also has subordinate receiver companies (shouxi lian), each of which has operator platoons (baowu pai). Each operator has one ximenzi type 1000 transmitter, which is networked to a receiver company at an Air Corps, Air Division, or supply station.

 A network consists of two ximenzi type 1000 transmitters, two type 74 receivers, and two 400 watt type 74 transmitter. The most commonly used antenna is the "II type." Since 1955, all the radio operators have been enlisted troops. The majority of the female airmen are in the communications or medical fields.

 The General Headquarters (tongshuai bu) establishes a strategic warning network, and the Front Army (fangmian jun) establishes a warning network in the war zone to relay warning signals from the General Headquarters and to transmit regionalized warnings. Air intelligence reports originate with the Group Army (jituan jun) of the Front Army's PLAAF organization and are disseminated to SAM and AAA battalions and above, as well as to other required units, who have receiver stations.

 In order to support ground troops, the PLAAF deploys Operations Teams (zuozhan xiaozu) and Target Controller Teams (mubiao yindao zu) to Army units, such as a Group Army. Radio communications between the PLAAF and these units is accomplished through radio stations set up by these two teams:

 Radio communications between Air Force and ground force units can also be made by the relevant, higher Air Force and Army authorities using a radio network designed for such communications. Landline communications can also be used by the Army to communicate in a direct line to the Air Force, or messages can be relayed through a base command station.

 PLAAF landline communications consists of the following jobs and offices:

 - Line Maintenance Personnel (peixian yuan) work in the Maintenance Office (peixian shi), which is the standard name for what is commonly referred to as the Malfunction Desk (guzhang tai). When an old telephone malfunctions, the Maintenance Offices' "measurement desk" (celiang tai) analyzes the problem, then sends a maintenance person from the Maintenance Office's Telephone Squad (dianhua ban) and Cable Squad (dianlan ban) to fix it.

 - Automatic Connecting. Personnel (zidong jiexu Yuan). Carrier wave machines (zaiboji) and modern long distance communications equipment connect Beijing and Xinjiang, as well as the capital and Laoshan. Carrier wave communications has three superior qualities -­increased distance by using amplifiers and repeaters; more circuits; and security.

 - Linesman (jiaxian yuan) string open wire telephone lines on poles. This type of landline communications is the primary means of communications between high level leaders, between Naval and Air Force bases, and between border positions.

 - Telephone Operators (huawu yuan)

 - Carrier Wave Operators (zaibo zhiji yuan) are responsible for maintenance, cleaning, and testing of the carrier wave equipment.

 - Cable Personnel (dianlan yuan) are responsible for stringing underground and underwater communication cables.

 - Facsimile Personnel (chuanzhen yuan) are responsible for sending all types of documents between headquarters organizations. Facsimiles are organized on special direction (zhuan xiang) or network directions (luo lu fangxiang).

 - Teleprinter Personnel (dianchuan yuan) use electric typewriters to send messages using Arabic letters.

 - Microcomputer Personnel (weiji yuan).

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