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The Centralization of the PLA Air Force’s Basic and Technical Training

  • Published
  • China Aerospace Studies Institute

Initial entry training is a major undertaking for any armed force, but China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force (PLAAF) faces a unique set of challenges based on its enlisted force’s large size, relatively short service commitments, and high proportion of technical requirements. Although the PLA does not release comprehensive personnel data, the PLAAF most likely demobilizes and replaces about 20% of its enlisted force annually, including two-year conscript/recruits1 who are not promoted to the NCO corps and any NCOs who are not promoted to the next level—many of them in positions requiring some level of technical training. As such, even minor adjustments to initial entry training may have significant impacts for the PLAAF in terms of reaping the maximum benefit from these two-year conscript/recruits before many of them are demobilized.

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