The National Security Council is planning a three-day drill this week to test the government’s ability to respond to an emergency, an unnamed senior-level government official said yesterday.
The timing of the drill is to be confirmed in the next few days, after evaluations have been made regarding heavy rainfall over the past few days, the source added.
The purpose of the drill is to practice ensuring the safety of political and military leaders during a military crisis, while maintaining the government’s core functions and protecting critical infrastructure, the source said.
The drill is divided into three sections: the activation of the emergency command post and the evacuation of the president, the vice president and other important leaders to the command post; the protection of critical infrastructure; and exercises responding to various scenarios, the source said.
For the latter, the heads of important divisions within the government would act out different scenarios, accompanied by a number of legislators and academics, who would act as officials from Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, the source said.
The results of the drill would be an important reference for adjustments, the source added.
In previous years, the drill has involved practicing how to evacuate the president, vice president and other top officials to the command post using the eight-wheeled CM-32 “Clouded Leopard” armored vehicle — officially known as the Taiwan Infantry Fighting Vehicle, the source said, adding that the council has not yet decided whether to use the vehicle.
For last year’s drill, the council had planned on simulating an ambush on the president and vice president’s motorcade, as well as a scenario in which the president had to call for international assistance during a Chinese military blockade, the source said.
The source did not confirm which scenarios were actually simulated last year.
This year’s security drill would focus on protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure and the government’s emergency response mechanism, the source said.
During the drill, government officials are to travel to either the Yuanshan Command Center or a separate command center in northern Taiwan, the source said, adding that the military would go to the Hengshan Military Command Center, which allows it to monitor Chinese People’s Liberation Army aircraft, vessels and missiles in the Taiwan Strait and surrounding areas.
The military’s command and joint command centers are small, and most of the facilities are old, so the government has decided to build a new office in Taipei’s Dazhi area (大直), where it plans to station supervising officers, the source added.
In related news, the military has reportedly asked units to increase their live-fire training exercises in recent years, resulting in a significant increase in the amount of ammunition used.
The military last year used about 6.8 million more rounds of ammunition for training than in 2016, government statistics showed.
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