Wed, Jul 14, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Jets to replace cars in expressway drill


Lei Yu-chi, director of the general headquarters in charge of combat training at the Air Force General Headquarters, explains yesterday how two Mirage fighters will land on the Jenteh section of the Sun Yat-Sen Expressway on July 21.


Air Force fighter jets will conduct take-offs and landings on the Jenteh section of the Sun Yat-Sen Expressway on July 21 as part of ongoing military exercises, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday.

Ministry spokesman Major General Huang Suey-sheng (黃穗生) said the training drill will be part of the third stage of the "Hankuang No. 20," which will be an evaluation of combined services' combat capabilities. "Hankuang" will be the largest combined services training drill of the year.

The drill envisions a scenario where the enemy has damaged air base runways during a war and Taiwanese fighters have to use the expressway as an alternative runway, Huang said.

Lei Yu-chi (雷玉其) of the Air Force General Headquarters said two French-made Mirage fighters will land on the expressway, refuel, take on missiles and then take off.

Lei, who is a director of the general headquarters in charge of combat training, said that the operations will test the combined operations of traffic control, road clearance, logistics operations, air traffic control and road traffic direction and will serve as a good reference to see if the air force can continue to sustain its combat readiness in times of war.

Lei noted that this will be the first time that the air force will use a section of the expressway in 26 years, noting that it had conducted landings and take-offs of various types of planes -- including F-104s, F-100s, F-5s and T-33s -- on four sections of the expressway before it was inaugurated in 1978.

The Jenteh section will be closed between 4am and 8am on July 21.

The air force is working with the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau to plan alternative routes for vehicles and will publish the details in advance.

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