CBRN Assessment

Combined arms battalions are now the basic unit of PLA mobile operations

23 March 2020

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has announced that its combined arms battalions are now officially the basic unit of its mobile operations, according to a 20 March article by the state-owned PLA Daily newspaper.

The announcement seemingly marks the end of a process initiated in 2008 that envisaged the formation of combined arms battalions, which include air-defence, engineering, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance assets, to increase the PLA's readiness levels and its ability to project force within its sphere of interest.

The report states that these battalions are "modular" and designed to integrate different elements of the PLA as required, pointing out that the battalions can be combined to enhance combat effectiveness in a "plug-and-fight" fashion.

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