30 July 2012

China's Military Footprint Expanding

They've already got a small island "base" (see map below) from which they can base fighters and most of their naval vessels. Now they're looking at deploying a military garrison to Woody Island in the South China Sea.

China's central military authority has approved to form and deploy a military garrison in the newly established city of Sansha.

Sources with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Guangzhou Military Command said Friday that the Central Military Commission (CMC) had authorized it to form a garrison command in the city.

The garrison command will be a division-level command under the PLA's Hainan provincial sub-command, responsible for managing the city's national defense mobilization, military reserves and carrying out military operations.

The PLA's Sansha Garrison Command will be under the dual leadership of the Hainan provincial sub-command and the city's civilian leaders.

Part of the issue is the size of the unit. For a civilian government of this size, there's usually a 6000-man (or so) garrison from the PLA. There's not enough real estate out here to park that many folks, never mind the twin logistical challenges of (a) keeping them fed, and (b) keeping them from being bored.

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By: Brant

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