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PLA continues long march of logistics reform (2)
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14:24, July 28, 2007

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The real milestone, however, came this April when the Central Military Commission officially approved the reforms by Jinan Military Region in eastern Shandong Province in integrating logistics for all the services.

The region''s 16 logistics supports units, including medical services, materials and fuel supply, transportation and engineering construction, were restructured to improve efficiency and combat effectiveness.

The Army, Navy and Air Forces had traditionally maintained their own logistics support without collaboration. The new Theater Joint Logistics Department (TJLD) was established to break the divide between the services and take full responsibility for all logistics supports within the region.

One of the TJLD''s first missions was to create an electronic supply system that allows logistics officers to locate and identify -- at the click of a mouse -- the stocks and demands of all military units.

The TJLD can instantly post requisitions at the logistics support unit most conveniently stationed to the unit with the demand.

In the past, an air force unit might have to travel hundreds of miles to its designated warehouse even though a navy warehouse might be just around the corner.

Wan Weifeng, deputy chief of staff of the TJLD, said one beneficiary of the reform was a submarine unit that used to spend at least five days on road to fetch uniforms from a depot 1,800 kilometers away. Their wait has been reduced to a maximum of two hours.

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