Over the past few months the leadership of Chinas military has announced several major changes to the organizational structure of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA). One change has been the dismantling of the four general departments that formerly served as both the headquarters of the PLA Army (PLAA)and as a joint staff for the entire military. Most joint stafftype functions have been moved to the Central Military Commission(CMC) while a separate PLAA headquarters has been created, comparable to the headquarters of the PLA Navy, Air Force, and Rocket Force (formerly known as the Second Artillery Force), to oversee the PLAA. In addition, the Rocket Force has been elevated in stature from an independent branch to a full-fledged service. A new organization, the Strategic Support Force, has been created and is apparently independent of the four services, although precisely how it will be organized and function are unclear as of this writing.