Sun, Dec 23, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Ministry touts summer training camps, citing willingness to fight for Taiwan

By Lo Tien-pin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Participants in the army’s Kinmen summer camp pose with “Seadragon” frogmen from the Army 101st Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion on July 5 last year.

Photo: Wu Cheng-ting, Taipei Times

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday touted the success of summer training camps after it conducted a survey that showed that nearly 94 percent of camp participants said they were willing to defend the nation in the event of war.

The military-run camps have made substantial headway in promoting civil defense, the ministry said, citing entrance and exit polls conducted last year at the camps, without elaborating on the survey methodology.

Before attending the camp, 82.1 percent of participants said they were willing to fight for the nation’s defense, but the number rose to 93.99 percent after they completed the training, the ministry said.

Camp graduates scored 89.6 percent in national defense knowledge tests, up from 59.4 percent before attending, it added.

Of the 3,529 people who attended the camps, 575 enlisted in the military, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.

The registration period for the 14 winter civil defense camps that are to run from Jan. 23 to Jan. 30 is closed, the official said.

The camps are to be managed separately by the army, navy, air force and military police in ways that focus on the specialties of each branch, with the army camps featuring augmented-reality combat simulators and the navy camps featuring tours of the nation’s warships, they said.

Besides the service-oriented camps, the military is to organize camps that focus on defense technology-related applied sciences, creative and performing arts, and journalism, the source said.

Separately, the ministry is to organize national defense education and study camps on the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) for young people, with four such camps planned for next year, the ministry said.

The camps would facilitate public education about the nation’s South China Sea policy, the mission of the Itu Aba (Taiping Island, 太平島) coast guard garrison and history of the nation’s involvement in the Spratlys, while allowing attendees to experience life on naval and coast guard ships firsthand, it said.

Registration for the Spratly camps closes on March 8, the ministry said.

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