The US Department of Defense (DoD) expects the size of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy Marine Corps (PLANMC) to grow to more than 30,000 personnel by 2020, the DoD said in its 2018 China Military Power Report to the US Congress.
Released on 16 August, the 130 page-long report states that the corps, which is currently believed to comprise of about 20,000 troops, will consist of seven brigades within the next two years and expand its mission to include expeditionary operations on foreign soil, as PLANMC forces are already operating out of the PLA’s base in Djibouti.
The DoD report also pointed out that the PLANMC, which has a newly established headquarters for manning, training, and equipping the expanded corps, may also incorporate an aviation brigade, which could provide an organic helicopter transport and attack capability, thus increasing its amphibious and expeditionary warfare capabilities.
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