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PLA improving officers' skills and training to conduct joint operations

The Chinese military is improving the level of education and training given to its military officers with regard to joint operations, China’s state-owned People’s Liberation Army Daily newspaper reported on 27 January.

Major General Dong Lianshan, from the College of Joint Warfare of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University (NDU), was quoted as saying that more than 98% of PLA officers at the command and staff level have now been trained at the college, which boasts more than 100 instructors, adding that college graduates are now present in every one of the PLA’s five theatre commands.

The major general noted that the reason behind the move is that many officers lack the proficiency to conduct joint operations due to a lack of combat experience and joint combat command skills, which is why joint operations training has become the top priority at the college. One of the key aims of the training programme is to enable PLA officers to better judge certain situations, understand the intentions of higher authorities, make the correct operational decisions, deploy troops, and deal with unexpected circumstances. These are all areas where the PLA leadership sees room for improvement.

The PLA Daily pointed out that, following both internal and external revisions, the curriculum at the NDU is now transitioning to a 2.0 version, with more than 90% of it already revised. For example, theoretical and practical scenario-based trainings, including combat command, have been introduced, making up more than 70% of the curriculum.

Maj Gen Dong admitted that almost all instructors have had to start from scratch, but pointed out these improvements have turned the institution into a ‘war laboratory’ and an ‘incubator’ for joint operations.

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