Mon, Sep 10, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Air force, navy exercise along east coast this week

By Lo Tien-pin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A joint navy-air force drill has been scheduled for this week off the east coast of Taiwan, a military official said on condition on anonymity.

The scenario of the drill is that a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) circumnavigation exercise turns into an attack, the source said.

Fighter jets from bases in western Taiwan are to be deployed to the east coast during the drill, while F-5 jets would be moved to western bases and placed on standby as part of an exercise code-named Tian Lung (天龍), the official said.

The navy is to rearrange its fleet formations and divide them into red and blue teams to simulate an invasion by the PLA Navy from the east, the official added.

Air force Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Hsiung Hou-chi (熊厚基) has previously said the exercise would simulate actual combat and encourage competition using standard armaments, while also helping pilots train for joint operational capabilities.

The exercises are also aimed at boosting morale and encouraging solidarity among air force personnel, the official quoted Hsiung as saying.

Such exercises have usually been held in the fall, but the military decided to hold them earlier, the official said.

Other scenarios included in the exercise are simulations of downed friendly jets and emergency extractiond of the pilots under enemy fire; and tracking and locking-on exercises by the air force and other anti-air batteries on simulated incursions of enemy jets into the nation’s radio frequency identification zones, the official said.

There is also to be a live-fire exercise with 35mm anti-aircraft twin guns, the official said.

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