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A Year in the Life of Beijing Military Region

According to Zhanyou Bao, Beijing MR will train 1.3 million college and middle school students annually from 2002 thru 2005. Over the previous decade, the MR had trained roughly 2.2 million students. [Beijing MR Zhanyou Bao 3 Sep 2002 (PLA Activities Report Sep 2002)]

The Beijing MR's Combined Arms Tactical Training Base was the site of the first joint combat exercise between active and reserve units of the PLA. On August 25, 2002 on a plateau outside the Great Wall an unidentified motorized infantry brigade and a motorized infantry regiment from a reserve division conducted operations against a blue force unit. The exercise lasted roughly 25 days and consisted of three stages, rapid mobilization, long-distance mobility, and opposed force combat drills. The exercise was designed to determine the effectiveness of the reserve unit. Some 1,500 reserve officers and enlisted personnel from 48 townships deployed for the exercise. [Beijing MR Zhanyou Bao and Xinhua Daily Telegraph 3 Sep 2002 (PLA Activities Report Sep 2002)]

In September 2002 an unidentified motorized infantry brigade conducted exercises with new equipment at a training location north of the Great Wall. This brigade had been downsized from a division and was re-equipped with new infantry fighting vehicles and tanks. According to the report, the unit received the new equipment sometime during the previous year, though it is unclear when the reorganization took place. [Beijing MR Zhanyou Bao 24 Oct 2002 (PLA Activities Report Oct 2002)]

In early Autumn 2002 an unidentified air defense brigade (possible the 66440 unit, a mechanized air defense brigade) conducted field exercises that stressed long-range maneuver with all of its equipment and personnel. During live-fire drills the unit is reported to have achieved a perfect score. [Liberation Army Daily 3 Oct 2003 (PLA Activities Report Oct 2002)]

The PLA Activities Report's summary of a Liberation Army Daily story from November 6, 2002 indicates that an unidentified mechanized infantry division (probably with the 38th Mechanized Group Army) conducted training exercises at the military regions Combined Arms Tactical Training Base in late Autumn 2002. The exercises consisting of opposing forces, allowed soldiers to train with "advanced communications systems" which Red Force soldiers were able to use without interruption despite jamming by Blue Force units. Furthermore, these exercises allowed the division to train with its new minesweepers that has an electromagnetic and rocket mine-sweeping capabilities. The account also indicates that the division has new infantry fighting vehicles, tanks, and air-ground three dimensional fire net. [Liberation Army Daily 6 Nov 2003 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]

An unidentified armored regiment, commanded by a Zhang Jinghua (not listed in the Directory), that is part of the Beijing Military Region, was cited in November 2002 as having developed new tactics and strategy regarding communications security and anti-jamming methods. The unit has also been working on NBC defense. It is not clear if this unit is assigned to one of the subordinate group armies or if this unit is an independent brigade or regiment directly subordinate to the military region.

In December 2002 an unidentified Anti-Aircraft Brigade conducted live-fire exercises near the Bohai Sea. The unit is considered a "pilot unit" tasked by the military region command to reform live-fire tactics stressing "Three Strike and Three Defense" drills. [Beijing MR Zhanyou Bao 10 Dec 2002 (PLA Activities Report Dec 2002)]

Also in December 2002, an unidentified armored division conducted opposing forces exercises near the Great Wall to test new armaments that the unit had recently received. The exercises also involved joint operations with PLAAF aircraft and with Army Aviation assets. While acting as the Red Force, the unit was able to overcome the air and electromagnetic superiority and of the Blue Force. [Beijing MR Zhanyou Bao 21 Dec 2002 (PLA Activities Report Dec 2002)]

A motorized infantry brigade, commanded by Guo Jiuyin, conducted winter adaptability training in the Gobi region in the Winter 2002-3. The unit tested rapid dispersal and concealment techniques as well as new camouflage devices. The unit also drilled in anti-air tactics. [Liberation Army Daily 27 Dec 2002 (PLA Activities Report Dec 2002)]

In January 2003 roughly 100,000 soldiers from the Beijing Military Region began conducting winter training exercises from the Bohai Sea to the banks of the Yellow River in addition to the Gobi Desert. The exercises were characterized as the largest conducted by the MR and consisted of rapid mobalization and movement and simulations involving air defense and electronic warfare. The exercises lasted for roughly one week. Soldiers lived in the field. [PLA Activities Report January 2003 / Zhanyou Bao 9 Jan 2003)

In January 2003 an unidentified division conducted "winter adaptability" training near the Taihang Mountains which consisted of opposed force exercises. Fenduis were given the opportunity to train in a mountainous environment and refresh ambush and counter-ambush tactics. [Beijing MR Zhanyou Bao 21 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Jan 2003)]

An unidentified Armored Division (probably the 6th Armored Division) has recently intensified its training to incorporate information technology. According to the Liberation Army Daily (7 Jan 2003) the unit and its sub-elements are demonstrating better battlefield awareness and interconnectivity. [Liberation Army Daily 7 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Jan 2003)]

In January 2003 an unidentified division conducted "winter adaptability" training near the Taihang Mountains which consisted of opposed force exercises. Fenduis were given the opportunity to train in a mountainous environment and refresh ambush and counter-ambush tactics. [Beijing MR Zhanyou Bao 21 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Jan 2003)]

According Beijing MR's Zhanyou Bao on February 8, 2003 an unidentified infantry regiment has been improving its amphibious warfare capabalities by insuring that roughly 95 percent of its soldiers can swim with equipment and weapons. One company within the regiment was able to complete a 1,000 meters swim in 30 minutes. Amphibious operations are not the units primary mission but rather, it has been working to improve its skills in desert and mountain wargare as well. [Beijing MR Zhanyou Bao 8 Feb 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]

The PLA Activities Report indicates that the Beijing MR's Zhanyou Bao identified a "Red Army Regiment" commaded by a Li. The unit, which is believed to be part of the 193rd Division. The regiment was conducting mobility exercises in Northwest Hebei using a new battlefield management system and data connections with its subordinate battalions and companies. According to the story the unit has a rapid reaction capability.

References

  • Directory of PRC Military Personalities November 2002
  • Directory of PRC Military Personalities Serold Hawaii Inc, June 1998
  • PLA Activities Report September 2002 [Compiled by Serold Hawaii, Inc.]
  • PLA Activities Report October 2002 [Compiled by Serold Hawaii, Inc.]
  • PLA Activities Report November 2002 [Compiled by Serold Hawaii, Inc.]
  • PLA Activities Report December 2002 [Compiled by Serold Hawaii, Inc.]
  • PLA Activities Report January 2003 [Compiled by Serold Hawaii, Inc.]
  • PLA Activities Report February 2003 [Compiled by Serold Hawaii, Inc.]



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