Military Capabilities

China grows marine corps’ ranks but brigades not fully equipped, US says

03 May 2019

Beijing is rapidly growing the ranks of its marine corps, but most of the brigades are not yet “fully mission-capable”, the Pentagon told Congress.

In the recent ‘Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2019’ report, the US Department of Defense (DoD) outlines its observations about Chinese military might. For its marine corps, the Pentagon said the service grew from two to six brigades, with plans to add a seventh by 2020, and although they will “ultimately … be capable of operating from land, sea, and air”, that is unlikely to happen before next year.

“There is no evidence to indicate the [four] new brigades are manned, trained, and equipped to perform expeditionary missions yet,” the DoD wrote, noting that plans may be in the works to establish an aviation brigade but there is no evidence that one currently exists.

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