Recently, a special combat brigade under the 72nd Group Army of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted the sea-crossing and island-landing training in waters of East China Sea, including maneuvering on rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB), swimming in battle gears, armed cross-country race, island-landing and cliff-climbing, etc., in a bid to test the comprehensive combat capabilities of the service members under extreme conditions. The 72nd Group Army is based at Huzhou, Zhejiang and is composed of the 1st Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Division, an armored division, an artillery division, a motorized infantry brigade, an engineer regiment and an air defense brigade.
The 72nd Group Army, formerly 1st Group Army (Military Unit Cover Designator 73011), is a military formation of China’s People’s Liberation Army. It is one of three active group armies belonging to the Eastern Theater Command. It is considered a Category A unit, with priority status in terms of readiness, strength, and modern equipment. In mid 2017 the army was redesignated the 72nd Group Army. The 1st Group Army is currently one of three group armies assigned to the Nanjing Military Region. Its jurisdiction covers all military and armed police located in Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Fujian, and Shanghai. It also covers Taiwan, which is claimed by the People’s Republic of China but administered by the Republic of China.