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The Headquarters Department (kongjun siting bu/kongsi) consists primarily of operations and training, and is responsible for organizational structure, equipment planning,and recruiting. With the exception of the Command Post, the Headquarters Department is an administrative, not an operational, organization. As such, it writes the rules and regulations that govern PLAAF operations and training. The chief of staff is the director and the four deputy chiefs of staff are the deputy directors. There are at least twenty second level departments, bureaus, and offices, whose directors are senior colonels or colonels.

The Headquarters Department-is administratively responsible for all of the PLAAF s five operational branches (bingzhong). Although there are separate second level departments which are responsible for the radar, communications, and AAA/SAM troops, there are no separate departments for airborne or aviation troops. The reason there is not a separate aviation department today is that originally all of the existing departments supported the aviation troops. As the other branches such as communications and radar expanded, they required separate administrative departments to handle their affairs. The Operations and Training Departments have primary responsibility for airborne troops. 



The General Office (bangongshi) is responsible for reviewing all the paperwork going to the command staff from any of the Headquarters Departments second level departments. The General Office has a director (zhuren) and three deputy directors. One deputy director is responsible for foreign affairs; one is responsible for political work; and one is responsible for all other matters. Assistants (zhuli) for the political commissar and deputy political commissars also work in the General Office. All the members of the Documents Division and Translation Unit were converted to civilians under the civil service system. The General Office has at least five subordinate divisions.

 - Secretariat Division (mishu chu)

 - Documents Division (guan dangan chu)

 - Foreign Affairs Division (waishi chu)

 - The Translation Unit (fanyi dui) has a pool of trained translators who can be used as needed throughout the Air Force.

 - The First Division (yi chu) has staff officers who serve retired senior officers, such as commanders, deputy commanders, chiefs of staff, and deputy chiefs of staff. 

- The Second Division (er chu) has staff officers who serve retired senior political officers. 


The Directly Subordinate Political Department (zhishu zhengzhi bu) is responsible for political affairs within the Headquarters Department. It is known as konesizhengor sizheng. It has its own Party Committee (dangwei) and at least three divisions.

 - The Cadre/Personnel Division (ganbu chu) is responsible for all personnel matters within the Headquarters Department.

 - Organization Division (zuzhi chin

 - Propaganda Division (xuanchuan chu)


The Operations Department (zuozhan bu) is responsible for all operational matters, including airborne and SAM/AAA operations, while the other departments (i.e. radar, communications, etc.) are responsible for the technical matters. Although there is a AAA department, there is no separate airborne department. The Operations Department has just over 40 people, including a political commissar, and four subordinate divisions. The divisions are not further divided into offices. 

- The First Division (vi chu) is responsible for daily operations. Action officers are responsible for each of the major operational elements, such as radars, communications, fighters, bombers, AAA, SAM, etc. 

- The Second Division (er chu) is responsible for operations plans, and, like the first division, has individuals from each operational area.

 - The Command Division (zhihui chu) is responsible for issuing the orders to lower units and receiving messages .from them.

 - The Airfield Management Division (guanchang chu) is responsible for overall airfield operations. 


The Intelligence Department (qingbao bu) is organized into four divisions along functional lines.

 - The Aerial Reconnaissance Division (hangkong zhencha chu) is responsible for all aspects of aerial reconnaissance, including photo interpretation. 


On 18 March 1958, the PLAAF established the Air Force Military Scientific Research Department (kongjun junshi kexue yanjiu bu) as a first level administrative organization, with Deputy Commander Chang Qiankun as the first director. In addition, a Scientific Research Guidance Commission (kexue yanjiu zhidao weiyuanhui) was established at units (danwei) of regiment level and above, and each MRAF established a Scientific Research Office (keyan shi). Today, the Scientific Research Department (kevan bu), which is similar to the USAF systems command, has a director and four deputy directors. This department is responsible for evaluating and monitoring the PLAAF's weapons R&D plans and programs, and for reporting their operational requirements, as well as their tactical and technical criteria, to higher authorities. The department also researches and drafts the PLAAF's weapons development technical policies, as well as drafting the necessary rules and regulations for implementation.

 In order to carry out its mission, the Scientific Research Department is divided into three general areas -- integration (zonghe), technical (jishu yewu), and information/data (qingbao ziliao). In addition, it has special research units, military factory representatives, acceptance testing and test flight units, and training centers. The department has 112 administrative personnel assigned (23 are military civil service and the rest are active duty). Their average age is 37 years old, and 98 percent are university (military and civilian) graduates. As a rule, in order to work in the department, personnel must have worked in one of the assigned research institutes first. This department is responsible for the planning, budgeting, and establishing of requirements for all of the research institutes within the Headquarters Department. 

The INTEGRATION AREA includes the following divisions and assigned personnel: 

- The Plans Division (jihua chu) has 13 people.

 - The Finance Division (caiwu chin has 12 people.

 - The Test Flight Division (shifei chu), which has 11 people, manages the flight test program. The PLAAF's missile test base (daodan shiyan jidi) in northwest China and the flight test portion of the Flight Test and Training Center (feixing shifei xunlian zhongxin) at Cangzhou Airfield, Hebei Province, are also under the Scientific Research Department's functional control through this division.

 - The Technical Innovation Division (jishu gexin chu) has 10 people. When someone at a unit develops a new technique or a piece of equipment, they submit it through the proper channels to this division. This division is also responsible for the budget, regulations, and overall management of the various research institutes and laboratories that belong to the Headquarters Department.

 - The Aviation Military Products Design Finalization Commission (hangkong_jungong chanpin dingxing weiyuanhui) was established in Beijing in January 1962 with 16 members, and the Aviation Design Finalization Commission General Office (hangkong dingxing bangongshi/ hangdingban) was formed within the PLAAF's Scientific Research Department to handle the commission's daily affairs. The commission ceased working during the Cultural Revolution, but was revived in 1973. Today, the Aviation Design Finalization Office has 9 people.

 - The Standardization Office (biaozhunhua bangongshi) has 8 people. 

The TECHNICAL AREA within the Scientific Research Department includes the following divisions:

 - The Aircraft and Engine Division (feiji fadongji chu) has 7 people. 

- The Airborne Weapons and E9uipment Division (jizai shebei wuqi chu) has 6 people. 

- The Communications and Navigation Division (tongxin daohang chu) has 5 people. 

- The Radar and Electronic Countermeasures Division (leida dianzi duikang chu) has 4 people. 

- The Surface-to-Air Missile Division (dikong daodan chu) has 2 people and is responsible for SAMs and AAA. 

- The Support Equipment Division (baozhang shebei chu) has 2 people. 

The INFORMATION/DATA AREA consists of the Science and Technology Data Information Center (kepi ziliao qingbao zhon xin). The Center, which has 21 people, is primarily responsible for collecting and assessing technical information on foreign weapon systems and managing the PLAAF's S&T information/intelligence program. Exhibitions and technical exchanges with foreigners also fall within the center's charter. 



The F-8-2 Program Office (ba er gongcheng bangongshi/baerban) is a special organization established to manage the PLAAF's portion of the F-8-2 avionics modernization program (known as Peace Pearl in the U.S. and as the F-8-2 engineering program in China). The office is composed mostly of personnel from the Scientific Research Department, but also includes personnel from the Logistics and Aeronautical Engineering Departments. It has 15 people, including a director, two deputy directors and the following four groups:

 - Plans Section (jihua zu) 

- Technical Section (jishu zu) 

- Logistics Section (houqin zu) 

- Administrative Section (xingzheng zu)


The Communications Department (tongxin bu/tongxin bing bu) is responsible for all communications policy and technical matters. There are at least four divisions. 

- Radio Division (wuxiandian chu) 

- Telephone Division (dianhua chu) 

- Command, Control, and Communications (C3) Division (zhihui zidonghua chu) 

- The Technical Support Division (jishu qinwu chu/jiqin chu) is responsible for technical matters. 


The Training Department (junxun bu) is responsible for overseeing all training at the unit level, the flying academies, and the flight training portion of the Test Flight and Flying Training Center at Cangzhou Airfield. It is not responsible for training at other schools. The Training Department's Tactics Development Center (zhanshu fazhan zhongxin), which is located at the PLAAF Command College in Beijing, is responsible for developing campaign tactics, not individual fighter tactics. Individual tactics development is the responsibility of the Training Study Center at Cangzhou. The Training Department is also responsible for the Test Flight Regiment (shifei tuan) at Yanliang and its subordinate Test Flight Groups (shifei dadui) which are assigned to each aircraft factory. For example, the 1 st Test Flight Group is at the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, and the 6th Test Flight Group is at the Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation. Throughout the PLAAF's history, the Training and Schools Departments have been combined into a single department and then split into separate departments several times. Within the Training Department, there are at least five divisions/offices. 

- The Training Equipment Research Office (junxun qicai yanjiushi) works with a Training Equipment Factory (junxun qicai chang).

 - Flight Safety Division (feixing anquan chu) 

- Plans Division (jihua chu) 

- Airborne Troops Division (kongjiang bins chu) 

- Flying Academies Division (feixing xueyuan chu) 


The Schools Department (junxiao bu) is responsible for the planning, budget, regulations, facilities, administration, students, and staff to perform a particular type of training at the PLAAF's schools/academies. The other departments help determine the curriculum and provide the instructors to the Schools Department. PLAAF academies, except for flying academies, are responsible for recruiting students the same way civilian universities do. Prospective students must pass the national entrance examination before they are considered for the academies. The Schools Department does not provide regulations for standardization of visual/training aids or for computer systems at the schools. Even within individual schools, there is no standardization of computer systems. There are at least two divisions. 

- Plans Division (jihua chu) 

- Ground Schools Division (dimian xuexiao chu) 


The Military Affairs Department (junwu bu) manages general Air Force affairs, structure and organization, and pilot and enlisted recruiting. Actual Air Force recruiting, however, is handled by the provincial military commands, and the recruiters wear army uniforms. Except for the flying academies, all officer academies are responsible for recruiting their own cadets. There are at least two divisions/offices. 

- Pilots Division (feixingyuan chu) 

- The Pilot Recruiting Office (zhaofeiban/zhaoshou feixingyuan bangonQShi) is responsible for setting the requirements and issuing the call for flying academy cadets. Each MRAF also has a Pilot Recruiting Office. Although the Army does the actual recruiting, the Pilot Recruiting Offices work closely with them. (See Section 21) 


The Equipment Department (zhuanabei bu) decides how much and what types of items the PLAAF should procure. This department works closely with the Aviation Equipment Division (hangkong zhuangbei chu) within the General Staff Department's Equipment Department. There are three primary departments within the PLAAF who are responsible for equipment -- the Scientific Research Department is responsible for R&D; the Equipment Department decides how many and when to buy the equipment and is responsible for general management of the equipment; and the Procurement Department buys the equipment. Poly Technologies, Inc. (Baoli Keji Youxian Gongsi/Baoli Gongsi) Aviation Division (hangkong bu)' is also subordinate to the Air Force Equipment Department, and is responsible for selling PLAAF aviation equipment abroad that is still in service or is retired from the active inventory. There are at least seven divisions:

- The Excess Eguioment Management Division (bianyu zhuangbei guanli chu) is responsible for equipment in the Air Force inventory that is excess or is no longer operational.

 - The Foreign Assistance Division (yuanwai chin is responsible for foreign military sales.

 - The Finance Division (caiwu chu) is responsible for finance matters within the Equipment Department.

 - The Aviation Division (hangkong chu) is responsible for all aircraft.

 - The Ground Equipment Division (dimian zhuangbei chu) is responsible for vehicles such as trucks and jeeps.

 - The Plans Division (jihua chu) is responsible for all the plans.

 - The Administrative Division (guanli chu) distributes equipment according to requirements in the field. The five officers in this division are responsible for aircraft, vehicles, radar, SAM/AAA, and communications. 


The Radar Department (leida bu/leida bine bu) is responsible for writing the regulations and determining the organization and deployment of the radar troops. It is also responsible for all technical matters pertaining to radars, while the Operations Department is responsible for radar employment. There is at least one division. 

- The Technical Support Division (iishu ginwu chu/iigin chu) is responsible for radar technical matters.


*Poly Technologies is the import-export arm of the General Staff Department as part of the Equipment Department (zhuangbei bu). Whereas the various ministries sell new weapons and equipment, Poly Technologies' charter allows them to sell equipment that is already in the PLA's inventory. In the case of the Aviation Division, Poly Technologies uses "bu" as a "division" rather than a "department." 


The Antiaircraft Artillery Department (gaopao bu) is responsible for antiaircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile administrative and maintenance matters. The Operations Department is responsible for operational matters. Based on historical and security reasons, AAA troops are sometimes referred to as yipao, and SAM troops are referred to as erpao. There are at least three divisions. 

- Antiaircraft Artillery Division (,gaopao chu) 

- Surface-to-Air Missile Division (dikone daodan chu) 

- The Technical Support Division (iishu 9inwu chu/,Lain chin is responsible for all AAA and SAM technical matters. 


The Administrative Bureau (xingzheng guanli ju/guanli ju) is in charge of housing, food, and transportation support (basically all logistics support) for HqAF. The Logistics Department handles these affairs for the rest of the Air Force. The Administrative Bureau also runs the PLAAF hotel in Beijing. In addition, this bureau is responsible for providing the personnel to the Political Department as security forces for HqAF. The security forces, such as gate guards and those who deal with vehicle accidents, are organized into a company (lian dui). There are at least two divisions. 

- Finance Division (caiwu chu)  

- The Retired Cadre Division (lao ganbu chu) is responsible for running the Headquarters Department's sanitoriums (ganxiusuo) and is now manned by civil service personnel. 


The original basis for air traffic control was the need to maintain air procedures (kongzhong zhixu) and to support flight safety. In_ the beginning, an Air Traffic Control Division (hangxing chu) and an Aircraft Dispatch Office (hangxing diaodu shi) were set up within the HqAF Headquarters Department, as well as at each MRAF and Air Corps Headquarters. An Aircraft Dispatch Office was also set up at each aviation unit and flying school airfield. The HqAF Air Traffic Control Division became the Air Traffic Control Bureau (hangxing ju) in 1963. Today, the Air Traffic Control Bureau has 30 personnel assigned and is responsible for all aircraft matters from take-off to landing, including flight routes. The bureau does not control anything that has to do with ground support. The 34th Transport Division (Xijiao, Nanyuan, and Shahezhen airfields) and the PLAA'F's China United Airlines are HqAF directly subordinate units (zhishu budui) and are operationally subordinate to the Air Traffic Control Bureau. There is no flight safety division. There are at least three divisions/offices.  

- Flight Control Office Mixing guanzhi shi) 

- Air Traffic Control Division (hangxing chu) 

- Technical Division (lishu chu) 


The Navigation Department (linghang bu) originated during the early days of the PLAAF, when transports each had two navigators. This department was responsible for all navigator-related matters, such as writing the regulations and policies, and working with the Air Traffic Control Bureau to design flight routes. At the aviation unit level, the Navigation . Division (linghang chu) is responsible for items such as Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) and for filing and checking flight plans. The primary missions of the navigation system is to organize and implement air navigation, bombing, and ground controlled intercept (dimian zhihui yindao). Air navigation and bombing primarily uses on-board navigation equipment. PLAAF aviation unity have specialized navigation personnel as follows: 

- Bomber and transport divisions, regiments, and groups have a navigation director(linghang zhuren) 

- Bomber and transport squadrons have a navigation chief (linghang zhang) 

- Bomber and transport flight crews have navigators (linghang yuan) 

- Fighter and ground attack units only have a division and regiment navigation director 

The Navigation Department also works closely with the Schools Department to administer the Navigation Academy (linghang xueyuan), which was established in 1958 as the 16th Aviation School (hangxiao) in Huxian, Shaanxi Province. This academy trains navigators, air traffic controllers, and weapons controllers. The Navigation Department has at least two subordinate divisions: - Navigation Division (linghang chu) 

- Weapons Controller Division (yindao chu) 


The Weather Bureau (qixian iu) has weather centers located throughout China, including one at Xijiao airfield in Beijing. This bureau is responsible for writing all the regulations pertaining to weather support and for organizing the weather support network. 


The Confidential Bureau (jiyao iu) is responsible for encoding and decoding messages for electrical transmission. 


The Director Subordinate Supply Department (zhishu gongying bu/zhigong bu) is responsible for food services and support to the Headquarters Department, and possibly to the Political and Aeronautical Engineering Departments (the Logistics Department is located in a separate compound). The first reference to this department was seen in early 1989, and may be a new department. As such, it has probably taken over some of the support functions of the Administrative Bureau. 


There is a Command Post (zhihuisuo), which is best translated as an operations centers, at HqAF, each MRAF Headquarters, each Air Corps, each Command Post (zhihuisuo, such as the Dalian Command Post), and each operational aviation, AAA, SAM, and radar unit down to the regiment level. The operations center, which is separate from the administrative operations department/division, is part of the Headquarters Department and comes under the chief of staff. There are approximately 50 people who work full time in the operations center, and one of the deputy commanders or deputy chiefs of staff is the duty officer on a rotational basis. The 50 people include at least one representative from each of the second-level administrative departments within the four first-level departments.

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