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.
Download the Executive Summary
A Dragon Travels on Its Belly: Logistics and Sustainment in the PLA
Welcome to the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), Carlisle, PA, and to Collins Hall, U.S. Army War College (USAWC), Carlisle Barracks, PA.
This year’s PLA conference is entitled “A Dragon Travels on Its Belly: Logistics and Sustainment in the PLA” and will feature presentations on the logistics and sustainment capabilities of the PLA by analysts from National Defense University, the Defense Intelligence Agency, SOS International, the National Ground Intelligence Center, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the China Aerospace Studies Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, United States Indo-Pacific Command, and Marine Corps University.
The objectives of this event are: 1) Further understanding of PRC strategy and PLA military capabilities; and, 2) Increase collaboration between the academic, analytic, and practitioner communities with in the military/PME, the IC, and think-tanks.
We look forward to seeing you at the conference!
On Thursday and Friday, 31 March and 01 April, the conference will be held at the USAHEC facility, 950 Soldiers Dr, Carlisle, PA 17013. Both days, the conference will meet in the large multipurpose room. These sessions will be conducted at the UNCLASSIFIED level, with all discussions releasable to the public. No security clearance is required to attend these days.
On Saturday, 02 April, the conference will be held at Collins Hall, 650 Wright Ave, on Carlisle Barracks, PA 17013. The conference will meet in the Normandy Room on this day. These sessions will be conducted up to the SECRET/NOFORN level. Selected attendees for this day will require a security clearance to participate.
Arrival / Check-In
All participants: Check-in for the Thursday session will begin at 1300 EDT at USAHEC in the large multipurpose room. Check in for the Friday session will begin at 0830 EDT in the large multipurpose room.
Select, cleared participants: Check-in for Saturday’s session will begin at 0830 EDT at the Collins Hall security area. Access badges will be distributed for all to gain access to Collins Hall and the Normandy Room.
DOWNLOAD the Full 2022 PLA Conference Agenda
Several academic papers assessing various aspects of PLA logistics and sustainment will be presented at the conference on days one and two. The draft papers, courtesy of the authors, are provided below so that you can read them prior to the conference.
PLEASE DO NOT DISTRIBUTE THESE PAPERS WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE AUTHORS
- “Joint Logistics Support to PLA Theater Operations,” Dr. Joel Wuthnow, National Defense University
- “China’s National Defense Mobilization System: Foundation for Military Logistics,” Erin Richter, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Ben Rosen, SOSi Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis
- “PLA Army Logistics,” Josh Arostegui and MAJ J.R. Sessions, National Ground Intelligence Center
- “PLA Capability to Sustain Air Combat Operations,” Eli Tirk, China Aerospace Studies Institute, Air University
- “PLA Navy At-Sea Sustainment Capabilities,” Justin Boggess and Travis Dolney, Office of Naval Intelligence
- “The PLA’s Growing Air Power Projection Capabilities in the Western Theater Command,” Dr. Bonny Lin, Brian Hart, and Dr. Matthew Funaiole, Center for Strategic and International Studies
- “Logistics and Sustainment Issues for the PLA Base in Djibouti,” Dr. Chris Yung, Marine Corps University
The attendee information packet lists requirements for attending the conference and provides useful information for your visit to the U.S. Army War College and Carlisle Barracks.
DOWNLOAD the 2022 PLA Conference Packet and related forms below: