This volume of conference papers was presented at the US Army War College People’s Liberation Army Conference held March 31 to April 2, 2022, at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. The conference examined the sustainment and logistics capabilities of China’s military and assessed its ability to support large-scale operations.
The US Army War College People’s Liberation Army Conference (PLA) Conference was held March 31 to April 2, 2022, at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
The conference focused on PLA logistics and sustainment. As the PLA continues to build and modernize its combat forces, it is important to examine if the capabilities meant to support combat operations are also being developed.
Specific topics included: 1) China’s national-level logistics, including how China mobilizes national resources for the military and how it provides joint logistics support to the PLA Theater Commands; 2) the logistics capabilities of the different PLA services, especially the Army, Navy, and Air Forces; 3) PLA logistics in China’s remote regions, such as airpower projection in the Western Theater Command along the Indian border; and, 4) the PLA’s ability to sustain overseas operations at its base in Djibouti.
Despite notable potential shortfalls and points of friction, the PLA has successfully sustained counterpiracy maritime operations for many years and conducted noncombatant evacuation operations well-distant from China. It is increasingly able to move forces across the vast distances of China and conduct large training exercises. Far more must be known about PLA sustainment and logistics before the hard questions about PLA operational reach and endurance can be answered.