PLA forms Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force

Following on from the earlier report that the PLA Second Artillery Corps has been elevated into a full service branch and renamed as the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF), Chinese state media confirmed today that at the same time the PLA also created a brand new branch known as the PLA Strategic Support Force (PLASSF) on the last day of 2015.

While it can be certain that the PLARF will be largely based on the original structure and management of the Second Artillery Corps, it is unclear as exactly what the PLASSF will consist of. Unconfirmed speculations on Chinese social media suggest that the PLASSF will include the space operations elements of the PLA (currently under the juridiction of the PLA General Armaments Department), as well as the elements responsible for information warfare (cyber warfare).

Finally, the PLA also created the Army Headquarters to oversee all ground troops previously under the direct management of the four PLA general departments (Staff, Political, Logistics, and Armamanets).

Chinese media report confirmed that the new commander for the PLA Army Headquarters is Li Zuocheng (李作成), previously the Commander of the Chengdu Military Region. The The Army Headquarters Political Commisar is Liu Lei (刘雷), prevously the Political Commisar of the Lanzhou Military Region.

Army badge
PLA Army Headquarters badge

Unsurprisingly, the PLARF retained the previous leadership of the Second Artillery Corps, with Wei Fenghe (魏凤和) as the Commander and Wang Jiasheng (王家胜) the Political Commisar.

PLARF badge
PLA Rocket Force badge

The newly created PLASSF is headed by Gao Jin (高津) as the Commander and Liu Fulian (刘福连) as the Political Commisar. Gao Jjin was previously the Director of the PLA Academy of Military Science, the highest-level research institute of the PLA. Liu Fulian was previously the Political Commisar of the Beijing Military Region.

PLASSF badge
PLA Strategic Support Force badge

2 thoughts on “PLA forms Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force

  1. Hello,

    My name is William Howlett. I am currently working on my M.A. thesis (and eventual Doctoral dissertation) on the Chinese hacking community. The goal of my research is to unravel the differences between independent and state-sponsored hacking groups. Would you be willing to answer a few questions on the topic? They will be very professional, and would aid my research greatly since you are a significant producer of information on the field.

    Thank you for your time,
    William Howlett
    M.A. Social Sciences and Globalization
    California State University San Bernardino

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