Find a Security Clearance Job!

Military


Light Infantry Divisions and Military Operations Commands

By 2011 Myanmar's Army included a total of 12 large units denominated as "Light Infantry Divisions", as well as at least 21 and possibly as many as 27 similar units denominated as Military Operations Commands. The Light Infantry Divisions have an imaginative numbering system, reflecting the typical Burmese facination with numerology, while the Military Operations Commands have a rather mor prosaic sequential numbering system. The Light Infantry Divisions have simple distincitive unit insignia, consisting of the unit's numerical designation, while the Military Operations Command are not known to have distinctive unit insignia. The Light Infantry Divisions each consist of 10 Light Infantry Battalions, while the Military Operations Commands also each have 10 battalions, at least three of which are Mechanized Infantry Battalions. Both types of units have an intermediate Tactical Operation Group echelon between the battalions and the higher headquarters. Otherwise, the Military Operations Commands appear similar to the Light Infantry Divisions and there is no apparent reason that such minor differences in subsidiary organization should produce such striking differences in nomenclature and symbology.

But the Light Infantry Divisions are no more "divisions" than are the Military Operations Commands. Most maneuver units in Myanmar's Army are somewhere between under-manned and badly undermanned, with far fewer troops assigned than would be expected based on their notional Tables of Organization and Equipment [TOE] or the manning levels of foreign counterpart units. The so-called "battalions" are little more than companies, the Tactical Operation Groups are not brigades, but are rather battalions, and the Light Infantry Divisions and Military Operations Commands are little more than brigades. Myanmar's Army is not badly under-manned, but the Army as a whole is seriously over-officered.

Light Infantry Divisions

Light Infantry Divisions Light Infantry Divisions exist, but are normally for command organizations. By 2011 a total of 12 Light Infantry Divisions, each with 10 Light Infantry Battalions, field a total of 120 Light Infantry Battalions, part of the major force build-up post-1988. In the 1990s, the six army infantry divisions, in addition to all naval and air units, remained at the disposal of the minister of defense, to be dispatched as necessary to the regional commands. One thing that has puzzled some analysts is that the Tactical Operation Group [TOGs] are identified with divisions, usually carrying a number derived from the division number, and are also identified as part of MOMCs. It seemed unclear whether this meant that there are two sets of TOGs, one as brigades of divisions, and the other as groups under the MRs [an overly complex relationship] or that the infantry divisions and Military Operations Commands detach TOGs to the Regional Commands [as seems likely].

On 27 June 2018 Amnesty International published new research implicating specific military units in atrocities. They included the 33rd and 99th Light Infantry Divisions (LID), combat units in the Myanmar Army which were deployed to northern Rakhine State in mid-August 2017 and which massacred hundreds of Rohingya in the villages of Chut Pyin and Min Gyi later that month. These units had a history of abuse, and in late 2016 and early 2017 committed war crimes in northern Shan State. In early 2018, the 33rd LID has been deployed to Kachin State, and we have received alarming reports of human rights violations against ethnic minority civilians there. Amnesty International also identified by name 13 individuals military officers and members of the Border Guard Police who we believe should be investigated for command and/or direct responsibility for crimes against humanity. This responsibility extended to the top of the chain of command.

Division HQ Area of Operations strength
11th Light Infantry Division Hlegu (near Rangoon) Central Security10 x Light Infantry Battalions
12th Light Infantry Division Tennesserim, identified 200310 x Light Infantry Battalions
20th Light Infantry Division Pakokku Mobile Reserve10 x Light Infantry Battalions
22nd Light Infantry Division Pa-an Karen State10 x Light Infantry Battalions
33rd Light Infantry Division Sagaing Shan & Kachin States10 x Light Infantry Battalions
44th Light Infantry Division Thaton Karen State10 x Light Infantry Battalions
55th Light Infantry Division Aungban South Shan State10 x Light Infantry Battalions
66th Light Infantry Division Prome North Shan State10 x Light Infantry Battalions
77th Light Infantry Division Pegu Central Shan State10 x Light Infantry Battalions
88th Light Infantry Division Magwe Karen State10 x Light Infantry Battalions
99th Light Infantry Division Meiktila Karen State10 x Light Infantry Battalions
101st Light Infantry DivisionTennesserim identified 2003 10 x Light Infantry Battalions

Military Operations Commands

A total of at least 21 Military Operations Commands, each with 10 Infantry Battalions, field a total of 210 Infantry Battalions. A total of thirty Military Operations Management Commands [a term that seems to cover both Military Operations Commands and Light Infantry Divisions] are planned [a number probably associated with the eventual goal of 500,000 troops]. And as of 2009 as many as 27 were reported by orbat.com to have been formed, though only 21 have been publicly identified. According to orbat.com, the MOMCs, headed by brigadier generals, operate under the regional commands [led by major generals]. The MOMCs became necessary with the proliferation of new battalions.

Controlling ten battalions, a MOMC is similar to a division HQ. In contrast to the Light Infantry Division, which is a pure force of Light Infantry Battalions, the Military Operations Command is a mixed unit of Mechanized (BTR-3 armored personal carrier) and Motorized [truck-mounted] infantry battalions. It incorporates the HQ and troops of a Tactical Operation Group (sometimes called command), the brigade sized formation which previously controlled infantry battalions under the Military Regional Commands, as well as new raisings. Each Tactical Operation Group is equivalent to a brigade, with 3-4 infantry battalions.

The ten Infantry Battalions [with support units including field artillery batteries] are organized under three Tactical Operations Commands : one Mechanized Tactical Operations Command (with BTR-3 armored personal carriers) and two Motorized Tactical Operations Command (with EQ-2102 6x6 trucks). If the supporting troops were at full strength, an MOMC would consist of 9,000 troops in three Mechanized Infantry Battalions and six Motorized Infantry Battalions [and a tenth battalion of uncertain composition]. Confusingly, wiki simultaneously reports that all ten are "Mechanized Infantry battalions equipped with BTR-3 Armored Personnel Carriers..." but this is inconsistent with the much lower number of Mechanized Infantry battalions - apparently just 71 - otherwise reported by wiki.

1st Military Operations Command (MOC-1) Kyaukme Shan State 10 x Infantry Battalions
2nd Military Operations Command (MOC-2) Mong Nawng Shan State 10 x Infantry Battalions
3rd Military Operations Command (MOC-3) Mogaung Kachin State 10 x Infantry Battalions
4th Military Operations Command (MOC-4) Hpugyi Yangon Region10 x Infantry Battalions Designated Airborne Division
5th Military Operations Command (MOC-5) Taungup Rakhine State 10 x Infantry Battalions
6th Military Operations Command (MOC-6) Pyinmana Mandalay Region 10 x Infantry Battalions
7th Military Operations Command (MOC-7) Hpegon Shan State 10 x Infantry Battalions
8th Military Operations Command (MOC-8) Dawei Tanintharyi Region 10 x Infantry Battalions
9th Military Operations Command (MOC-9) Kyauktaw Rakhine State 10 x Infantry Battalions
10th Military Operations Command (MOC-10) Kyigon Sagaing Region 10 x Infantry Battalions
11th Military Operations Command (MOC-11) Loilem Shan State 10 x Infantry Battalions
12th Military Operations Command (MOC-12) Kawkareik Kayin State 10 x Infantry Battalions
13th Military Operations Command (MOC-13) Bokpyin Tanintharyi Region 10 x Infantry Battalions
14th Military Operations Command (MOC-14) Mong Hsat Shan State 10 x Infantry Battalions
15th Military Operations Command (MOC-15) Buthidaung Rakhine State 10 x Infantry Battalions
16th Military Operations Command (MOC-16) Theinni Shan State 10 x Infantry Battalions
17th Military Operations Command (MOC-17) Mong Pan Shan State 10 x Infantry Battalions
18th Military Operations Command (MOC-18) Mong Hpayak Shan State 10 x Infantry Battalions
19th Military Operations Command (MOC-19) Ye Mon State 10 x Infantry Battalions
20th Military Operations Command (MOC-20) Kawthaung Tanintharyi Region 10 x Infantry Battalions
21st Military Operations Command (MOC-21) Bhamo Kachin State 10 x Infantry Battalions
22nd Military Operations Command (MOC-22) ?? ?? 10 x Infantry Battalions
23rd Military Operations Command (MOC-23) ?? ?? 10 x Infantry Battalions
24th Military Operations Command (MOC-24) ?? ?? 10 x Infantry Battalions
25th Military Operations Command (MOC-25) ?? ?? 10 x Infantry Battalions
26th Military Operations Command (MOC-26) ?? ?? 10 x Infantry Battalions
27th Military Operations Command (MOC-27) ?? ?? 10 x Infantry Battalions



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list