Army adjustment and establishment completed in five Theater Commands

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Zhang Tao
2016-02-04 17:57

File photo shows the commanders and political commissars of the five Theater Commands

BEIJING, Feb.4 (ChinaMil) -- China's largest-scale military reform since the 1950s has proceeded smoothly in the past month. After the seven Military Area Commands (MACs) of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) were replaced by five Theater Commands (TCs) on February 1, 2016, the five joint commanding headquarters in the five TCs were revealed on February 2.

It is reported that the five joint commanding headquarters of the Eastern, Southern, Western, Northern and Central Theater Commands have been determined. They are respectively located in Nanjing, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Beijing.

According to Yang Yujun, the spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND), the adjustment and establishment of the Service's organs in each Theater Command has also been completed. It is learnt that the five Army's subordinate organs in the five TCs are in Fuzhou, Nanning, Lanzhou, Jinan and Shijiazhuang respectively.

Someone close to the matter noted that the locations of the TCs' organs and the Army' subordinate organs within the TCs are selected according to the tasks and missions in their respective strategic directions. Besides, such an arrangement can make full use of the existing infrastructures such as communication facilities in the former MACs' organs so that work can start at an early date.

According to the source, not every Theater Command will have all the five Services as reported by some media. Instead, they will mainly have three Services, namely the Army, Navy and Air Force, and the logistic support forces. Every Theater Command is likely to have an Army's subordinate organ and an Air Force's subordinate organ, but not necessarily a Navy's subordinate organ depending on the actual situations.

This adjustment separates the combat commanding function from the construction and management functions, puts the focus of joint operational command on the Theater Command, and makes the Services responsible for troop construction and management. Under the centralized leadership of the Central Military Commission (CMC), the newly-established TCs and Services will perform their respective duties and responsibilities.

The new Theater Commands will be specifically responsible for joint operational command, the institution of which will be able to quickly shift to commanding status in wartime without setting up a temporary commanding system. This is good for organizing the troops to better perform the tasks for combat readiness and commanding them to conduct military operations.

The establishment of the TCs gives rise to the commanding structure of the CMC-TCs-Troops. Generally speaking, the TCs will deploy their own forces to deal with security threats and if they need support, the CMC will make centralized and coordinated arrangements.

It is reported that military flags were also conferred at the founding ceremony of the Army's subordinate organs in the TCs. For instance, when the Army's subordinate organ in the Eastern Theater Command was founded in Fuzhou, Gen. Li Zuocheng, the PLA Army Commander, solemnly conferred military flag to Qin Weijiang and Liao Keduo, respectively commander and political commissar of the Army in the PLA Eastern Theater Command.

It is introduced that the newly formed Army in the Eastern Theater Command that integrates the elite forces in the eastern region is equipped with the most advanced weaponry, including long-range rocket launcher, heavy-duty anti-tank missile and army aviation helicopters. Many of the equipment were exhibited at the V-Day military parade last year.

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