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Headquarters Air Force (HqAF/kongjun) consists of a command staff, administrative organization, specialized commissions, and directly subordinate units. HqAF also has a Party Committee and Party Standing Committee, which represents the PLAAF as a whole. In addition, each element within HqAF that has the Army-equivalent status (zhiwu dengji) equal to or higher than a regiment (tuan) has a Party Committee. 



The HqAF command staff consists of the commander (silingyuan), political commissar (zhengzhi weiyuan/zhengwei), four deputy commanders, two deputy political commissars, plus

the chief of staff (canmouzhang), who is the director of the Headquarters Department, the director (zhuren) of the Political Department, the director (buzhang) of the Logistics Department, and the director (buzhang) of the Aeronautical Engineering Department (Figure 1). The four deputy commanders are responsible for the primary areas of training, logistics/R&D/equipment, operations (aviation & airborne), and air defense (SAM, AAA, and radar), plus several secondary responsibilities. As can be seen from Figure 2, these responsibilities are concentrated in the Headquarters Department.


*The term "kongjun" means the Air Force as a whole, but it also means Headquarters Air Force (HqAF). When seen in a newspaper or book, the exact meaning is usually clear. The term "jiguan" or "lingdao jiguan" means a headquarters and/or command staff.

    HqAF, which also represents the PLAAF as a whole, has a Party Committee (dangwei) and Party Standing Committee (dangwei changwei), of which the political commissar is the secretary (shuji) and the commander is the deputy secretary (fushuji). The Standing Committee consists of the command staff The PLAAF Party Committee consists of the Standing Committee plus all seven MRAF commanders and political commissars.

 The command staff and the directors of each of the HqAF, MRAF Headquarters, and Command Post administrative elements are equivalent to positions in the Army at the Military Region (MR/da junqu), Army (jun), division (shi), and regiment (tuan) level. In fact, all PLAAF positions have an Army-equivalent position down to the lowest level. As a result, a person's rank is still not as important as the Army-equivalent position that person holds. In addition to the HqAF-Army position equivalents shown below, the directors of all HqAF's second level departments are equivalent to division (shi) commanders.


HaAF Position                                                                                                                                      Army Equivalent

Commander                                                                                                                                       MR Commander

Political Commissar                                                                                                                            MR Commander

Deputy Commander                                                                                                                           MR Deputy Commander

Deputy Political Commissar                                                                                                                MR Deputy Commander

Chief of Staff                                                                                                                                      MR Deputy Commander

Deputy Chief of Staff                                                                                                                          Army Commander

Director, Political Dept                                                                                                                       MR Deputy Commander

Director, Logistics Dept                                                                                                                     MR Deputy Commander

Director, Aero-Engineer Dept                                                                                                            Army Commander


The chief of staff and deputy chiefs) of staff at each level in the operational chain of command (HqAF, MRAF, Air Corps/Command Post, and operational unit) are responsible only for the Headquarters Department and are not in the administrative chain of command between the other three first level departments and the commander/political commissar. As shown above, the chief of staff, as the director of the Headquarters Department, is equal to the directors of the Political and Logistics Departments, while the deputy chiefs of staff are equal to the deputy directors. Each of the four deputy chiefs of staff has a broad range of responsibilities, which may cross one or more of the Headquarters Department's second level departments. In addition, their responsibilities do not necessarily match one-for-one with those of the four deputy commanders. 

The directors of the four first level departments work directly for the commander/political commissar and do not necessarily have to go through one of the deputy commanders. All staff actions within the first three departments must first go through their respective department's second level General Office (bangongshi) before reaching the director. Within the Logistics Department, all actions must go through that department's second level Headquarters Department (it does not have a general office). Therefore, the director and deputy directors within the General Offices are extremely powerful and important.  


 The administrative organization (xingzheng jigou/tizhi) at HqAF includes the four big/first level departments (4 da/yiji bu), plus their second level departments/bureaus (erji bu).


 The collective elements within any of the administrative elements are referred to as bumen. For example, the Logistics Department as a whole is referred to as the houQin bumen. Altogether, administrative elements within HqAF include departments (bu), bureaus (ju), divisions (chu), offices (shi/ke), and sections (zu). The four first level departments and their Chinese acronyms are shown below:


Headquarters     Siling bu Kongsi
Political  Zhengzhi bu   Kongzheng
Logistics   Houqin bu    Konghou
Aeronautical Engineering Hangkong gongcheng bu  Konggong

In addition, each of the second level elements also has an acronym. For example, the Headquarters Department's second level Directly Subordinate Political Department (kongjun siling bu zhishu zhengzhi bu) is referred to as kon sig zheng'or sizhen . Within the Logistics and Aeronautical Engineering Departments, all desk officers are referred to as assistants (zhuli), but in the Headquarters and Political Departments, they are referred to as staff officers (canmou) or secretaries (mishu).




                The PLAAF's four first level departments are based on the organization of the General Staff Department (GSD), General Political Department (GPD), and General Logistics Department (GLD), which are referred to as the three general departments (sap zongbu) as shown in Figure 3.



The 20 first level administrative departments within the General Staff Department (zongcanmou bu/zongcan) are as follows:

 General Office (bangongting)

 Political Department (zhen zhi bu)

 Operations Department (zuozhan bu)

 Intelligence Department (qingbao bu)

 Signals Department (tongxin bing bu)

 Training Department (xunlian bu)

 Military Affairs Department (junwu bu)

 Equipment Department (zhuangbei bu)

 Mobilization Department (dongyuan bu)

 Artillery Department (pao bing bu)

 Armor Department (zhuangjia bing bu)

 Engineering Department (gongcheng bing bu)

 Chemical Defense Department (fanghua bu)

 Electronic Countermeasures and Radar Bureau (dianzi duikang leida ju)

 Army Aviation Bureau (luhang bing ju)

 Mapping Bureau (cehui ju)

 Confidential Bureau (jiyao ju)

 Weather Bureau (qixian ju)

 Administrative Bureau (guanli ju)

 Foreign Affairs Bureau (waishi ju) 


The 10 first level administrative departments within the General Political Department (zongzhengzhi bu/zongzheng) are as follows:

 General Office (bangongting)

 Organization Department (zuzhi bu)

 Cadre/Personnel Department (ganbu bu)

 Propaganda Department (xuanchuan bu)

 Security Department (baowei bu)

 Cultural Department (wenhua bu)

 Liaison Department (lianluo bu)

 Mass Works Department (qunzhong gongzuo bu/qungong bu)

 Retired Cadre Bureau (lao ganbu ju)

 Administrative Bureau (guanli ju) 


The 14 first level administrative departments within the General Logistics Department (zonghouqin bu/zonghou) are as follows:

 Headquarters Department (siling bu)

 Political Department (zhengzhi bu)

 Finance Department (caiwu bu)

 Quartermaster Department (junxu bu)

 Health Department (weisheng bu)

 Armament Department (junxie bu)

 Vehicles & Vessels Department (che chuan bu)                            

 Fuels Department (youliao bu)

 Materials Department (wuzi bu)

 Capital Construction Department (jijian yingfang bu)

 Military Transportation Department (junshi jiaotong bu)

 Quartermaster Production Department (junxu shengchan bu)

 Audit Bureau (shenji ju)

 Production Management Office (shengchan guanli chu) 


Figure 4 shows a comparison of the first level administrative structure for the PLA's three general departments, three services (Navy, Air Force, and Second Artillery/strategic rocket forces), and the Military Regions.


General Departments (san zongbu)

                General Staff Department (zongcanmou bu/zongcan)

                General Political Department (zonszhengzhi bu/zongzheng)

                General Logistics Department (zonghouqin bu/zonghou)

 PLA Navy (jiefang iun haiiun).

                 Headquarters Department (siling bu)

                Political Department (zhengzhi bu)

                Logistics Department (houqin bu)

                Equipment & Technical Department (zhuangbei jishu bu)

                Equipment Repair Department (zhuangbei xiuli bu)

                Naval Aviation Department (hangkong bing bu)

PLA Air Force (jiefang jun kongjun)

                Headquarters Department (siling bu)

                Political Department (zhengzhi bu)

                Logistics Department (houqin bu)

                Aeronautical Engineering Department (hang_kona gongcheng bu)

Second Artillery ('i~gjun dier pao bins)

                Headquarters Department (siling bu)

                Political Department (zhengzhi bu)

                Logistics Department (hougin bu)

                Technical & Equipment Department (jishu zhuangbei bu/jizhuang bu)

Military Regions (da junqu)

                Headguarters Department (siling bu)

                Political Department (zhengzhi bu)

                Logistics Department (houqin bu) 


In addition to the administrative elements, HqAF also has several specialized commissions, some of which are listed below: 

- The PLAAF Aviation Commission (hangkong bing weiyuanhui) is chaired by the deputy commander in charge of equipment and R&D. The day-to-day administrative affairs for design finalization and the PLAAF commission are handled by the Aviation Finalization Office (hangkong dingxing bangongshi/hangdingban) within the Headquarters Department's Scientific Research Department (keyan bu). 

- The Aviation Military Products Design Finalization Commission (hangkong jungong chanpin dingxing weiyuanhui/hangdingwei) was established in Beijing in January 1962, and was composed of members from the Ministry of Aviation and the PLAAF. Although it ceased working during the Cultural Revolution, it was revived in 1973. Today, the commission is chaired.by the deputy commander in charge of equipment and R&D. 

- On 17 September 1983, the PLAAF Science and Research Commission (kongjun xueshu yanjiu weiyuanhui) was established in Beijing.

 - In October 1984, the PLAAF Flight Safety Guidance Commission (kongjun feixing anquan zhidao weiyuanhui) was established in Beijing, with the PLAAF commander as the chairman. It is composed mostly of retired senior officers. 

- A Discipline Inspection Commission (jilu weiyuanhui) is chaired by the senior deputy political commissar. 


Finally, HqAF has several directly subordinate units (zhishu budui), such as the 34th Air Division with its headquarters at Beijing Xijiao airport, the Test Flight and Training Center (shifei xunlian zhongxin) at Cangzhou airfield in Hebei Province, the Air Force Command College (kongjun zhihui xueyuan) in Beijing, research institutes (yanjiusuo), logistics units (houqin budui), a military procuratorate (junshi jiancha yuan), hospitals (yiyuan), and retired cadre sanitoriums (ganxiusuo). Each directly subordinate unit has its own Party Committee.

 The Directly Subordinate Military Procuratorate (zhishu iunshi jiancha yuan) investigates matters requiring disciplinary action. This office works closely with the PLAAF's Discipline Inspection Commission (jilu jiancha weiyuanhui), which is chaired by the senior deputy political commissar, and the Political Department. Most of the people who work in the Procuratorate have been trained in the political system.

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