Lanzhou Military Region
|Lanzhou Military Region|
Lanzhou Military Region (highlighted)
The Lanzhou Military Region is one of seven military regions in the People's Republic of China. It directs all military and armed police forces in Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, and Shaanxi. The Ali area of northwest Tibet also falls under this Region. It is headquartered in Lanzhou in Gansu Province. It is bordered to the south by the Chengdu Military Region, and to the north by Mongolia, the Altai Republic, which is a political subdivision of the Russian Federation, and Kazakhstan.
In 2006 the International Institute for Strategic Studies attributes the Region with an estimated 220,000 personnel, a single armoured division, two motorised infantry divisions, one artillery division, one armoured, two motorised infantry, one artillery, one anti-aircraft brigades plus a single anti-tank regiment. However, due to on-going reorganisation and reductions virtually all figures for numbers of Chinese military formations should be taken as indicative only.
The Region includes two Group Armies (the 21st at Baoji and the 47th at Lintong) plus two Armed Police Units (the 7th and 63rd). Known smaller formations include the 12th Armoured Division ('84701 Unit') at Jiuquan, Gansu. The region also includes the Xinjiang Military District, unusual among PRC military districts in that it contains a significant number of combat troops (the 4th Infantry Division, 6th Infantry Division, 8th Infantry Division, and, apparently, the 11th Highland Motorised Infantry Division reportedly either at Urumqi or in the Karakoram Mountains (Blasko 2000).
Tentative Order of Battle
- 21st Group Army, Baoji, Shaanxi
- 61st Motorised Infantry Division (“Red Army Division”), Tianshui, Gansu
- 55th Motorised Infantry Brigade, Zhangye, Gansu
- 12th Armoured Division (People's Republic of China), Jiuquan, Gansu
- Artillery Brigade (Blasko lists no location, while other sources state Zhongnig, Ningxia)
- Air Defence Brigade (Blasko lists only Gansu; other sources say Linxia, Gansu)
- 47th Group Army, Lintong, Shaanxi
- 139th Mechanised Infantry Brigade, Weinan, Shaanxi (reduced from division status)
- 56th Motorised Infantry Brigade (Blasko lists no location; other sources state Wuwei, Gansu)
- Motorised infantry brigade
- Armoured Brigade, Chengcheng, Shaanxi
- Artillery Brigade, Gansu
- Anti-Aircraft Brigade, Pucheng, Shaanxi
- Communications Regiment
- Engineer Regiment
12th Artillery Division was previously with 47th Group Army.
- Xinjiang Military District (HQ Urumqi)
- 63rd Division (People's Armed Police) (Pingliang) (formerly 21 Army 63 Division)
- 7th Division (People's Armed Police) (Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture) (former Xinjiang Military District 7th Division)
Lanzhou Military Region Air Force
- 6th Fighter Division
- 36th Bomber Division
- Urumqi Base
- 111th Brigade (Korla-Xinhiang) (J-11s) - 111th Regiment, 37th Fighter Division became a brigade in 2012, according to Scramble.nl/cn.htm.
- Brigade (Urumqi-South) (JH-7) - ex 110th Air Regiment, 37th Division.
- Brigade (Malan/Uxxaktal) (JJ-7A) - until 1988 the Regiment operated as 16th Division based at Ertaizi, after which it was transformed into Shenyang Military Region Training Base. JJ-7A aircraft were declared operational in July 2011. April 2012 the Regiment changed into a Brigade and got subordinated to Urumqi Base and moved to Malan.
- Brigade (Changji) (J-8F, JJ-7A) - the Regiment used J5 and later J6 until 2002 when J8Hs arrived. These were replaced by J8F in 2006. In 2008 the Regiment moved from Kuerla, north of the city. In 2012 37th Div/109th Reg turned into a Brigade.
- 5th Flying Academy
- 1st Regiment, 5th Flying Academy (Hami)
- 2nd Regiment, 5th Flying Academy (Zhangye SE)
- 3rd Regiment, 5th Flying Academy (Wuwei)
- Independent (Aerial Survey) Regiment (Hanzhong-Chenggu) (Y-8, An-30, Y-12)
Globalsecurity.org indicates that the 6th Fighter Division was established in November 1950 at Anshan, Liaoning and initially comprised the 16th and 17th Regiments. China-Military.org indicates that the 6th Division gained the 139th Regiment from the deactivated 47th Division sometime in 1998. The 106th Air Regiment of the 36th Bomber Division disbanded in 2004.
Organizations affiliated with the Lanzhou Military Region often use the nickname "combat" (Chinese: 战斗; pinyin: zhàndòu; literally: "battle fight"), including the Combat Performance Troupe (Chinese: 战斗文工团), but not the People's Army Newspaper (Chinese: 人民军队报), which is the sole exception among all five major military region newspapers in this regard.
- International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2006
- p. 25.
- Blasko, 2006, 80
- Chapter 8, PLA Ground Forces, by Dennis J Blasko, in The People's Liberation Army as Organisation, RAND, CF182