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Military

Beijing Military Region was one of seven military regions extant from 1987 to 1985. The thirteen military regions established by 1956 were reduced to eleven in the late 1960s. Those eleven military regions were reduced to seven by 1985-88. The seven military regions were reduced to five military regions as of 01 January 2016.


Beijing Military Region
Beijing Military Area Command

The Beijing Military Region is the largest MR, based on troop strength, of the entire PLA ground force. It is comprised of five group armies, two garrisons and three military districts. In addition to the forces assigned to the group armies, several units report directly to the MR including two anti-aircraft artillery brigades, an armored brigade (believed to be the 28th Armored Brigade), a helicopter unit, a special operations unit, a water supply regiment, a reserve logistics brigade, a combined arms tactical training base and a tankmen training base.

The Beijing Military Region is one of seven military regions for the Chinese People's Liberation Army. It has administration of all military affairs within Beijing city, Tianjin city, Hebei province, Shanxi province, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The Region is mainly responsible for defending the People's Republic of China from Mongolia and Russia, and also protects the capital of Beijing, with the largest number of military personnel of any of the seven regions.

The command has about 300,000 personnel, consisting of three group armies (the 27th Army, 38th Army, and the 65th Army), two armored divisions, one mechanized infantry division, five motorized divisions, one artillery division, three armored, seven motorized infantry, four artillery, a total of five various anti-aircraft brigades, and one anti-tank regiment.The command is also augmented by the Capital Garrison, which consists of the 1st and 3rd Capital Garrison Divisions (Police), and is also home to the PLA Navy (PLAN) North Sea Fleet and the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) 10th Air Force Corps.

In reductions announced in September 2003, the 24th Group Army (Hebei), and the 63rd Group Army (Shanxi) were both disbanded. Over the course of the 2003 reductions cycle, the 114th Mechanised Infantry Division of the 38th Group Army, the 70th Division of the 24th Group Army, two artillery brigades, and an anti-aircraft artillery brigade appear to have been dropped from the force.

The Beijing Military Region traces its lineage to the establishment of the North China Military Region in May 1948. It was renamed the Beijing Military Region in 1955. When the Inner Mongolia MR was downgraded to a district, it was folded into the Beijing MR.

The Beijing MR is primarily charged with protecting the capital. Because of its location in the capital, the Beijing Military Region is the most important of the seven military regions. Its importance is also seen in that it maintains six group armies (GA), the most of any military region, under its direct control. Each unit from the Beijing Military Region contributed forces to Beijing in the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989 and these elements remained deployed in Beijing long after the initial assault on the unan-ned demonstrators in the capital.

During the troop reductions of the late 1990s the Beijing MR's 28th Group Army (51361 Unit) was disbanded. The Group Army's AAA Brigade (unit 51363) was disbanded and the 28th Armored Division (the 52875 Unit) may have been downsized to a brigade which may be an independent subordinate of the Military Region. [Blasko p. 327.] The listing for the downsized brigade has consistently been listed in the PRC Directory of Military Personalities as an unidentified armored brigade commanded by Secior Colonel Zhang Li since the 2000 edition of the publication. In the 2001 edition the brigade was designated as the 66378 Unit and in 2002 the unit was identified as being located in Datong, Shanxi.

Two other units from the 28th Group Army, an infantry brigade that had been downsized from a division (51366 Unit, now the 66148 Unit) and an artillery brigade (51379 Unit, now the 66054 Unit) had been transferred to the 63rd Group Army.

The Tianjin Garrison was comprised of the 196th Infantry Brigade, located near Yangcun near Tianjin.

The Beijing Military Region is comprised of five group armies, two garrisons, and three military districts. Two training bases, a helicopter unit, a special operations unit, a water supply engineer regiment, a reserve logistics brigade, an armored brigade and possibly two anti-aircraft artillery brigades report directly to the Military Region's headquarters.

In September 2003 Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po reported that as part of the 200,000 troop reduction announced by the Chinese government, the 24th Group Army would be inactivated along with two other group armies, the 23rd and the 63rd. It is not clear if the troop reduction will include the inactivation of the Group Army's subordinate units. A new airport at the Zhurihe Training Base under the Beijing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) was completed in summer of 2012 in the hinterland of the grassland in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Paratroopers can be soon airdropped to the vast grassland for drill and then return by transport aircraft. In the past, due to the absence of airports in some unfamiliar training fields, the airborne troops had to travel long way to return to their home bases by trains or buses after fulfilling long-distance airdropping drills, which greatly reduced the efficiency of their all-area combat training. Not only the PLA airborne force can be airdropped to the northern vast desert for training and return to their home bases on the very day, but also the planes of air force aviation troop units, naval aviation troop units and army aviation troop units of the PLA can land at the airport of the training base to conduct joint drills with armored troop units of the PLA ground force.

It covers a land area of over 1,000 square kilometers and is the PLA's only training base for launching joint air-ground and actual-troop campaign exercise of group army scale. In the past decade, more than 100 ground-air joint tactical actual-troop or online confrontational exercises for troop units were directed and supported in this training base. Hundreds of thousands of officers and men,in another word, nearly one hundred divisions and brigades led by over 1,000 commanders at group army, division and brigade levels conducted drills here one after another.

The PLA's first actual-troop exercise in complex electromagnetic environment was conducted here. In late autumn of 2008, a total of over 110 military observers from 36 countries watched an exercise in the grassland, and one foreign military observer said the Chinese military had taken solid steps in its training in complex electromagnetic environment. It features complete battlefield functions and is equipped with advanced facilities. The base possesses digital monitoring and assessment system, and is the first to adopt the digital one-thousand-score quantified assessment mode to monitor and assess the troop units participating in the exercise in whole process with time accuracy in seconds. A professional "Blue Army" is stationed here all year long and ready to carry out laser-simulation combat exercises at any time with various troop units of the PLA.

References

  • Dennis J. Blasko. "PLA Ground Forces: Moving Toward a Smaller, More Rapidly Deployable, Modern Combined Arms Force" The People's Liberation Army as Organization: Reference Volume v1.0, James C. Mulvenon and Andrew N. D. Yang eds. (Santa Monico: RAND; 2002)
  • "PLA to Disband Three Major Group Armies in Current Troop Reductions" Wen Wei Po [Hong Kong] 9 Sept. 2003 (FBIS-CHI-2003-0909)
  • "Wu Shuangshan Appointed PRC Armed Police Commander" Ming Pao [Hong Kong] 3 Jan. 2000 (FBIS-CHI-2000-0103)
  • "People's Liberation Army - Order of Battle" by Xinhui @ China Defense.com 6 Aug. 2002

Leadership (as of : 03 March 2015)

Song Puxuan, Commander of the Beijing Military Area Command
Former position: President of PLA National Defense University
Predecessor: Zhang Shibo, current President of PLA National Defense University
Bai Jianjun, deputy commander of the Beijing Military Area Command
Former position: Chief of staff of the Beijing Military Area Command
Predecessor: Liu Zhigang, current deputy commander of the Jinan Military Area Command
Gao Donglu, deputy political commissar of the Beijing Military Area Command
Former position: Political commissar of the Beijing Garrison Command
Predecessor: Huang Jianguo, whose current position is undisclosed
Shi Luze, chief of staff of the Beijing Military Area Command
Former position: Commander of the Hebei provincial military command
Predecessor: Bai Jianjun, current deputy commander of the Beijing Military Area Command
Jiang Yong, political commissar of the Beijing Garrison Command
Former position: Director of the Political Department of the Jinan Military Area Command
Predecessor: Gao Donglu, current deputy political commissar of the Beijing Military Area Command
Huang Xianjun, investigated in November, 2014
Former position: Director of political department, Shanxi Provincial Military Area Command
Chen Hongyan, investigated in February, 2015
Former position: Deputy director of political department of air force, Beijing Military Area Command
Dong Mingxiang, investigated in March, 2015, for serious disciplinary violations
Former position: Head of joint logistics department, Beijing Military Area Command



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