Air Transportation: Chinese 15th Airborne Corps

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January 28, 2010:  The Chinese 15th Airborne Corps (three airborne divisions and an aviation brigade) has, for the last two decades, been the primary airborne infantry force in the Chinese military, and the primary rapid reaction force as well. China has enough air transports (Il-76s, Yu-8s, Yu-7s) to move one of the 11,000 man airborne divisions to anywhere in China within 48 hours. This was demonstrated two years ago, when one division was sent to Sichuan province, to assist in earthquake relief. The first use of this capability was in1988, when a division was moved to Tibet.

The 15th Airborne Corps is now receiving more helicopters, and practicing tactical movements, via helicopter, for airborne brigades. These exercises are becoming more frequent, as more of the 15th Airborne Corps nine paratroops brigades, are trained to undertake these helicopter movements and assaults. These operations would be a major feature of an attempt to take Taiwan by force.

 

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