Nanjing Military Region
Nanjing Military Area Command

The Nanjing Military Region is comprised of three group armies, five military districts, the Shanghai Garrison, a helicopter regiment, a tankmen training facility, a special operations dadui, a missile brigade, and possibly two pontoon brigades.

The Nanjing MR covers the Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, and Jiangxi provinces. The Nanjing Military Region is a critical division based in Nanjing, Jiangsu. Its southern section faces Taiwan and as such is home to a substantial number of China's medium-range missiles, as well as the front- line launching point for a joint air/sea assault on Taiwan.

In August 1999 Major-General Zhu Wenquan, commander of the PLA's First Group Army was made commander of the Nanjing military region, which oversees the Taiwan area. Zhu, who was also promoted to lieutenant-general, is known in military circles as an expert in amphibious warfare.

During a major military campaign against Taiwan, the Nanjing MR would become part of the so-called "Nanjing War Zone," which probably would include, at a minimum, the three Group Armies in the Nanjing MR, elements from Group Armies based in adjacent military regions (e.g., Guangzhou and Jinan MRs), as well as China's airborne and marine forces. Air assets would come primarily from the Nanjing MR augmented by mission-critical aircraft from other parts of China. The Navy would commit assets from both the East and South Sea Fleets, as well as mission-critical assets from the North Sea Fleet. Finally, all deployed SRBMs most likely would be available to the "war zone" commander.

The PLA started to organize and establish its new-type amphibious mechanized troops in 1999. In autumn of 2009, the PLA three services conducted a joint combat drill. During the drill, an amphibious mechanized division successfully established a command information system for the first time which connected various campaign and tactical levels of the troop units of the three services participating in the drill, organized and accomplished combat operations including joint fire strike, joint maritime defense, ground-air electronic confrontation and multi-directional three-dimensional breakthrough, marking the transformation of the PLA army’s amphibious operation from the single-arm operation to the joint operation of the three services based on information system.

After long-distance maneuvering, hundreds of combat vehicles of an amphibious mechanized division under the Nanjing Military Area Command (MAC) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reached a beach for maritime assault training in mid August 2012. The division has had two equipment renewals within 10 years. Its new-type amphibious combat vehicle equipped with domestically made top-notch information-based weapons including anti-tank guided-missile system, fire-control computer and laser rangefinder is superior in land and sea maneuvering performance and strong in firepower, possessing strong comprehensive protection capability and high information-based level. Its deployment marks that the amphibious combat equipment of the PLA army has reached world advanced level.

Currently, the officers and men of an amphibious mechanized division can drive the amphibious assault combat vehicles for limit training of maritime, super-long-distance and direct-sailing attack in organic troop units. The newly-equipped amphibious self-propelled howitzers are also incorporated into the echelon for landing drill so as to provide strong fire cover.

ZLT05 Tracked Amphibious Assault Gun

Nanjing Military Region - A Year in the Life - 2002

An unidentified group army (possibly the 1st Group Army) has reportedly been upgrading its abilit to support amphibious mechanized units during landing operations. The group army has worked on developing new innovations that would allow it to improve its armament support capability. Towards this goal, the unit has modified an unidentified self-propelled gun that would allow it maneuver in water under its own power. The group army has also used civilian ships and helicopters to transport weapons and equipment and ammunition supplies. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 17 Oct 2002 (PLA Activities Report Oct 2002)]

An unidentified armored division conducted joint training exercises with other branches of the PLA in the early Fall 2002. The exercises reportedly took place in East Anhui and lasted for roughly 40 days. The exercises ended with a live-fire drill on October 9. According to the report, the exercises indicated that the unithad acquired the essential capabilities needed for sea-crossing and landing operations. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 23 Oct 2002 (PLA Activities Report Oct 2002)]

A report by Renmin Qianxian identified a coastal defense division at Fujian as having used a modern C4I system during exercises. The system allowed information and orders to be distributed online down to the battalion level, and throught the use of automated command and GPS the division was able to direct ship operations. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 1 Oct 2002 (PLA Activities Report Oct 2002)]

The 73211 Unit, a pontoon brigade commanded by Dai Hua (which may be a different brigade then the one listed on page 213 of the 2002 Directory of PRC Military Personalities as page 239 identifies Dai as head of the 73211 unit). This brigade conducted an exercise in the early Fall 2002 that tested its rapid response capability. The unit was able to construct a 800-meter steel bridge across the Yangtze River in 25 minutes using both new and old equipment. According to the report, the unit has consistently improved its capability over several years and has been rated an "All-Army 1st Class unit in Military Training". [Liberation Army Daily 13 Oct 2002 (PLA Activities Report Oct 2002)]

An unidentified armored division took part in night training exercises at the East Anhui Mountain training base during Fall 2002. The division developed new night warfare doctrine and with the use of recently acquired night vision equipment conducted combined arms training. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 17 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]

The Renmin Qianxian report may indicate that the MR Tankmen Training Base is actually the East Anhui Mountain Training Base. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 17 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]

An unidentified artillery brigade conducted live fire drills at the East Anhui Mountain Base, beginning on or about October 23 and ending on October 28, 2002. The drills were conducted during day and night situations and were designed to assess the effectiveness of the unit following the implementation of the PLA's new training requirement. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 5 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)] Renmin Qianxian also reported on 12 November that an unidentified artillery brigade stationed in Nort Jiangsu conducted live-fire exercises for five days and nights also in the East Anhui area. It is not clear if the same unit is being referred to twice or if the units are seperate. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 12 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]

A Special Operations Dadui, believed to be attached to the Nanjing MR, conducted exercises in Southeast China in the Fall 2002. The exercises included combat drills over water, the use of high-speed boats, and landing and seizing beach locations. The units head of training and operations was reported to have been a Cao Junping (not listed in the Directory of PRC Military Personalities). The unit is reported to be equipped with UAVs. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 21 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]

An unidentified artillery regiment stationed at Fujian, that was activated in 2002, is reported to have successfully completed annual live-fire tactical exercises. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 14 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]

The MR Helicopter Regiment completed its annual training schedule on November 7, 2002. The unit apparently increased its total flight training by fifty percent and conducted realistic training exercises. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 14 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]

An unidentified armored division conducted regiment-sized night exercises in late October 2002. The exercise took place in East Anhui and involved elements of the division attacking an enemy maneuver force. The exercise included joint operations as elements of the Air Force coordinated their efforts with the regiment. Reportedly, the unit took part in roughly two months of training at an undisclosed location in preperation for the exercise. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 29 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Dec 2002)]

An unidentified armored division has developed methods of insuring armament support during wartime. The unit has adopted a strategy that provides support at the initiative of the support element instead of only at the request of combat units. The support elements have also developed a combat capability as they have reportedly shifted from a "support-only role". Support soldiers are combat trained and equipped and their vehicles are outfitted with reconniassance and counter-reconnaissance systems. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 17 Dec 2002 (PLA Activities Report Dec 2002)

An unidentified armored division was inspected in January to insure that its communication equipment met PLA standards that soldiers in the division were using the systems correctly. The unit recently received new equipment and has since implemented initiatives to improve the training process and to develop new applications for the systems. The article specifically mentions that one of the objectives is to insure communications support during landing operations. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 22 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Jan 2003)]

An unidentified Air Defense Brigade, reportedly located at Fujian, has improved its readiness by "replenishing" its assigned TO&E and by increasing its use of computer and hi-tech systems. The story, in the Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian indicates that the unit has digitized its operational maps instead of relying on simple paper maps. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 31 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]

An unidentified artillery regiment, stationed in North Jiangsu (and thus possibly part of the 12th Group Army's 36th Division or U/I Division) conducted a camp and field training exercise that included OPFOR exercises simulating Blue Force long-range strikes, and electronic jamming. Unit was also conducted NBC defense training as well as insuring communications survivability. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxian 29 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]

An unidentified Coastal Defense Division (Fujian Military District is the only unit that has CD Divisions) conducted various readiness training exercises sometime in the January to February timeframe. The exercises included training with the use of Ferries, and loading operations. The unit also simulated operations against enemy aircraft using jamming technology and operations to detect and attack naval and aircraft forces at sea. [China National Defense News 27 Feb 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]

The Shanghai Garrison's Coastal Defense Brigade intensified its training efforts in early 2003 to improve the command and control capabilities of its subordinate battalions. A significant element of this training was focused on its AAA battalion which conducted day and night live-fire exercises simulating defense against aircraft at varied altitudes. The article also identified an artillery battalion thats howitzers were outfitted with a GPS capability. [Nanjing MR Renmin Qianxin 25 Feb 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]

The Missile Brigade (Unit 73661) was identified in a Liberation Army Daily Reprt as being a Guided Missile Brigade. The report also indicated that in late January 2003 the brigade convened an annual science and technology meeting that identified and solved 38 training problems. Furthermore, the unit was able to improve the mobility of the command post and to improve its command control network. The article goes on to indicate that the by applying advanced techniques the unit was able to reduce the time needed to transfer guided missile rapidly by fifty percent. [Liberation Army Daily 17 Feb 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]


  • Directory of PRC Military Personalities November 2002
  • Directory of PRC Military Personalities Serold Hawaii Inc, June 1998
  • 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.]
  • 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)

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