The PLA's General Staff Headquarters, General Political Department, General Logistics Department and General Armaments Department are departments of the CMC respectively responsible for military, political, logistical and equipment work.
As the basis of the PLA, the Army is a service mainly conducting land operations. It consists of such arms as infantry, armor, artillery, air defense, aviation, engineering, signals, chemical defense and electronic countermeasures (ECM), as well as various specialized service units.
Military area commands (theaters of war) are military organizations set up according to the administrative divisions of the state, geographical locations, strategic and operational directions, and operational tasks. They are CMC-appointed organs for commanding joint theater operations. They direct the military, political, logistical and equipment work of the troops under them. Under a military area command are the headquarters, the political department, the joint logistics department and the armaments department. A military area command is mainly in charge of formulating programs and plans for combat readiness and operations of troops in the theater and for the reserve force buildup of the theater, organizing and commanding joint theater operations involving different services and arms, and providing joint logistical support. At present, the PLA has seven military area commands, namely, Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. Under a military area command are combined Army corps, units of various Army arms, logistical support units and provincial military commands (garrison commands at the same level).
Provincial military commands (garrison commands at the same level) are organizations set up by the PLA in province-level administrative areas, and are under military area commands. They also serve as departments of Party committees for military work and organs of government for military service at the level of province (municipality directly under the central government, or autonomous region). So, they are under the dual leadership of the military area commands and local Party committees and governments at the same level. The leading body of a provincial military command consists of the headquarters, the political department and the logistics department. A provincial military command directs the military, political, logistical and equipment work of the units under it, and oversees reserve force building, peacetime enlistment and wartime strength mobilization in its area of responsibility.
Prefectural military commands (garrison commands at the same level) are organizations set up by the PLA in prefectures (prefecture-level cities, autonomous prefectures or leagues). They are under provincial military commands, but also serve as departments of Party committees for military work and organs of government for military service at the level of the prefecture (prefecture-level city, autonomous prefecture or league). So, they are under the dual leadership of the provincial military commands and local Party committees and governments at the same level. The leading body of a prefectural military command consists of the headquarters, the political department and the logistics department. The main tasks of a prefectural military command are to oversee the military training, political work and equipment management of the militia and reserve force, organize and conduct wartime mobilization, and undertake military service registration and enlistment. Prefectural military commands in border areas are also in charge of the military, political, logistical and equipment work of border defense troops as well as border defense duties, talks and meetings, and border management, protection and control.
People's armed forces departments are organizations set up by the PLA in counties (banners, county-level cities or municipal districts). They are under prefectural military commands, but also serve as departments of Party committees for military work and organs of government for military service work at the level of the county (banner, county-level city or municipal district). So, they are under the dual leadership of the prefectural military commands and local Party committees and governments at the same level. A people's armed forces department consists typically of a military affairs section, a political work section and a logistics section. Its main tasks are to oversee reserve force buildup, combat readiness, military service and mobilization, and command militia operations. The grass-roots people's armed forces departments established by the state at the level of township (town) or sub-district are non-active-duty organizations. They are manned by full-time staff that are under the dual leadership of the local Party committees and governments at the same level and military organs at higher levels.
In addition, local people's congresses at all levels and the standing committees of local people's congresses at and above the county level ensure the compliance with and implementation of laws and regulations relating to national defense in their respective administrative areas. Local people's governments at all levels, within the authority they enjoy as prescribed by law, are responsible for enlistment, militia forces, reserve service, national defense education, mobilization of the economy, civil air defense, national defense traffic, protection of defense installations, resettlement of servicemen discharged from active service, supporting the PLA and giving preferential treatment to families of servicemen and martyrs and other related matters in their respective administrative areas. Local people's governments at various levels and the military organs stationed there hold joint civil-military meetings as called for to handle matters concerning national defense in their respective administrative areas.
The Navy is a strategic service of the PLA, and the main force for maritime operations. It is responsible for such tasks as safeguarding China's maritime security and maintaining the sovereignty of its territorial waters, along with its maritime rights and interests. The Navy is mainly composed of submarine, surface ship, aviation, Marine Corps and coastal defense wings.
Structure and Organization
In time of peace, the Navy adopts a leadership system which combines operational command with building and administration, and which mainly consists of the Navy Headquarters, fleets, test bases, educational institutions, and an armaments academy. There are three fleets under the Navy, namely, the Beihai Fleet, Donghai Fleet and Nanhai Fleet, which are headquartered respectively in Qingdao of Shandong Province, Ningbo of Zhejiang Province, and Zhanjiang of Guangdong Province. Each fleet has under its command fleet aviation, support bases, flotillas, maritime garrison commands, aviation divisions and marine brigades. At present, the Navy has eight educational institutions, namely, the Naval Command College, Naval Engineering University, Naval Aeronautical Engineering College, Dalian Naval Academy, Naval Submarine College, Naval Arms Command College, Naval Flying College and Bengbu Naval School for Non-commissioned Officers.
The submarine force is equipped with nuclear-powered strategic missile submarines, nuclear-powered attack submarines and conventional submarines, all organized into submarine bases and submarine flotillas. The surface ship force mainly consists of destroyers, frigates, missile boats, mine sweepers, landing ships and service ships, and is organized into flotillas of destroyers, speedboats, landing ships and combat support ships, as well as maritime garrison commands. The aviation wing mainly consists of fighters, fighter-bombers, bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, patrol aircraft and helicopters, all organized into aviation divisions. The Marine Corps is organized into marine brigades, and mainly consists of marines, amphibious armored troops, artillery troops, engineers and amphibious reconnaissance troops. The coastal defense force is mainly organized into coastal missile regiments and antiaircraft artillery regiments, and mainly consists of shore-to-ship missile, antiaircraft artillery and coastal artillery troops.
The Air Force is a strategic service of the PLA, and the main force for carrying out air operations. It is responsible for such tasks as safeguarding the country's territorial air space and territorial sovereignty, and maintaining a stable air defense posture nationwide. It is mainly composed of aviation, ground air defense, airborne, signal, radar, ECM, technical reconnaissance and chemical defense sections.
Structure and Organization
In peacetime, the Air Force practices a leadership system which combines operational command with building and administration, and which consists of the Air Force Headquarters, air commands under military area commands, corps-level (division-level) command posts, divisions (brigades) and regiments. The Air Force has under it an air command in each of the seven military area commands of Shenyang, Beijing, Lanzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. It has also under it an airborne corps as well as various institutions of education, research and experimentation. Under each air command at the military area command level are aviation divisions, ground-to-air missile divisions (brigades and regiments), antiaircraft artillery brigades (regiments), radar brigades (regiments), ECM brigades (regiments and battalions), and other specialized service units. In key areas there are also corps- or division-level command posts. The Air Force has also a number of educational and training institutions, including the Air Force Command College, Air Force Engineering University, Air Force Aviation University, Air Force Radar College, Air Force College at Guilin, Air Force College at Xuzhou, Air Force School for Noncommissioned Officers at Dalian and seven flying colleges.
An aviation division usually consists of regiments, groups and squadrons, and has such types of aircraft as fighters, attackers, fighter-bombers, bombers, transports and combat support aircraft. It has under it aviation regiments and related stations. The aviation regiment is the basic tactical unit. With battalions as the basic fighting units, the ground-to-air missile force is usually organized into divisions, regiments and battalions or into brigades (regiments) and battalions. With batteries as basic fighting units, the antiaircraft artillery force is usually organized into brigades (regiments), battalions and companies. The airborne forces are organized into corps, divisions, regiments, battalions and companies.
Second Artillery Force
Second Artillery Force:
The Second Artillery Force is a strategic force under the direct command and control of the CMC, and the core force of China for strategic deterrence. It is mainly responsible for deterring other countries from using nuclear weapons against China, and for conducting nuclear counterattacks and precision strikes with conventional missiles.
The Second Artillery Force sticks to China's policy of no first use of nuclear weapons, implements a self-defensive nuclear strategy, strictly follows the orders of the CMC, and takes it as its fundamental mission the protection of China from any nuclear attack. In peacetime the nuclear missile weapons of the Second Artillery Force are not aimed at any country. But if China comes under a nuclear threat, the nuclear missile force of the Second Artillery Force will go into a state of alert, and get ready for a nuclear counterattack to deter the enemy from using nuclear weapons against China. If China comes under a nuclear attack, the nuclear missile force of the Second Artillery Force will use nuclear missiles to launch a resolute counterattack against the enemy either independently or together with the nuclear forces of other services. The conventional missile force of the Second Artillery Force is charged mainly with the task of conducting medium- and long-range precision strikes against key strategic and operational targets of the enemy.
Structure and Organization
The operational command authority of the Second Artillery Force is highly centralized. The chain of command runs from the CMC, the Second Artillery Force and missile bases to missile brigades. The operations of the Second Artillery Force must follow the orders of the CMC in the strictest and most precise manner.
The Second Artillery Force is mainly composed of the nuclear missile force, the conventional missile force, the support force, educational institutions, research institutes and the headquarter organizations. The missile force is organized into missile bases, missile brigades and launch battalions. The support force is organized into technical and specialized support units such as reconnaissance, intelligence, signal, ECM, engineering, logistics and equipment units. The educational institutions include a command college, an engineering college and a school for NCOs. The research institutes include equipment and engineering institutes.
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