A Year in the Life of Shenyang Military Region
It would be tiresome and tedious to compile a narrative history of this formation, and equally tiresome and tedious to read such an account. But a vignette of about a year of activity associated with this formation provides some texture for the routine of training and force development.
An unidentified artillery brigade conducted training exercises in mid-October 2002 using new weapons. The report indicates that the new artillery pieces are significantly more sophisticated than previous weapons and demonstrated greater accuracy as well as mechanization. [Liberation Army Daily 6 Nov 2002 (PLA Activities Report Nov 2002)]
The Shenyang Military Region conducted military quality certification exams in late 2002 and tested thirty-seven division and brigade commander. Of the officers tested, five did not pass the exam. The commander of the 190th Mechanized Infantry Division (Unit 65559, 39th Mechanized Group Army), Wang Yongjin, was specifically mentioned as having passed the exam and receiving the certificate. [Shenyang MR Qianjin Bao 6 Dec 2002 (PLA Activities Report Dec 2002)]
Dozens of Shenyang Military Region's joint logistics units have upgraded their communications infrastructure so that they are now linked with fiber optical cables. The Central Military Commission reportedly approved the installation of the fiber optics in August 2003 and within four months some 450 kilometers of cable had been installed. Such a move dramatially improves the survavbility of the units communications. [Liberation Army Daily 1 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Jan 2003)]
Shenyang MR was reported to have been the first to field a new refueling vehicle that allows multiple armored vehicles to be refueled at the same time and within minutes. The vehicle was developed and built by an unidentified POL Depot within the MR and was to be produced and fielded with other PLA units. [Shenyang MR Qianjin Bao 30 Dec 2002 (PLA Activities Report Jan 2003)]
An unidentified mechanized division (probably with the 39th Group Army) has initiated a number of reforms in field support for armament that were recognized by the General Armaments Department in early January 2003 as being advanced. The new methods implemented by the division emphasizes "base quantity reserves, containerized transport, information technology and field supply." The new methods were developed by the staff of the division and with research personnel and officers from the military region and the GAD. [Shenyang MR Qianjin Bao 21 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Jan 2003)]
Shenyang MR completed the first phase of a project that provides phiber-optic communications and data linkages between Shenyang MR logistics units in late 2002/early 2003. According to reports, roughly 80 percent of the military region's joint logistics units are equipped with phiber-optics. As are some 57 units at the divisional level. [Shenyang MR Qianjin Bao 31 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]
Armored forces of the Shenyang MR stationed in Changchun (and thus probably part of the 16th Group Army) were involved in major exercises at the beginning of 2003 that emphasized joint operations. The exercises took place between the Changbai Mountains and Heilongjiang River, and included aircraft, tanks, 2nd Artillery units. These units also reportedly took part in a major regional exercise in 2002 that also focused on joint operations. [Liberation Army Daily 14 Feb 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]
Other exercises were also conducted in the Jilin and Heilongjiang areas involving division sized units from several group armies. In Early January an Unidentified Division conducted combat training at the foot of the Changbai Mountains in Jilin and the 46th Motorized Infantry Division conducted exercises around January 4. [Shenyang MR Qianjin Bao 29 Jan 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]
Another unidentified division (possibly from the 23rd Group Army) conducted exercises in early January 2003 in the Xiao Hinggan Ling Mountains in Heilongjiang. The exercise emphasized cold weather combat and involved the use of an engineer fendui that damaged an icy surface to prevent enemy escape and counter-jamming efforts by a communications unit while combat units successfully attacked enemy locations. [Liberation Army Daily 10 Feb 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]
An unidentified Group Army (possibly the 16th Group Army) from the Shenyang MR conducted joint training exercises at the beginning of 2003 with an unidentified Air Force unit and the Jilin Military District. This appears to be an annual exercise that was planned on a rotating basis. The exercise was attributed with improving joint methodology. [Shenyang MR Qianjin Bao 12 Feb 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]
One of the Military Region's training bases, possibly the MR Combined Arms Tactical Training Base, developed a curriculum that emphasizes maritime training in 2002. The base has reportedly organized, directed, and supported sea-crossing and island-landing exercises for three units which indluced changing means of transport while at sea and organizing amphibious assaults. [Shenyang MR Qianjin Bao 24 Feb 2003 (PLA Activities Report Feb 2003)]
Xinhua identified Hospital 203 as being in Qiqihar in Heilongjiang Province and established in late 2003 to treat victims exposed to Japanese chemical weapons leftover from the Japanese occupation.
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