Wed, Jul 20, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Annual Han Kuang military drill to be held next week

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) will hold the 21st Han Kuang military exercise at Chingchuankang (清泉崗) air force base in Taichung on July 27. The ministry requested all air travellers in the area to reschedule their flights because all air traffic in Taichung will be prohibited during the exercise.

According to the MND, the air traffic ban will be effective between 9:20am and 11am. The Taichung Airport, which is also part of the Chingchunkang air force base, will be temporarily closed and flights will be rescheduled as well.

"The Han Kuang military exercise is an annual drill which includes the air force, the army and the navy. The MND apologizes to the public in advance regarding the potential inconveniences the exercise may cause," a press release issued by the ministry on Monday said.

The 21st Han Kuang military exercise was originally scheduled to be held today, but was postponed due to Typhoon Haitung, which hit the nation on Sunday. According to the MND, the focus of this year's drill will be to defend against Chinese commando units. Taiwanese airborne troops will act as the enemy force, and infantry on the ground will be responsible for "destroying" them during the exercise. The drill is also meant to gauge how fast and how well the military could repel an invasion by the People's Liberation Army.

The MND also said that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (李傑) will arrive at Chingchuankang to observe the one-day training drill. The entire exercise will last for two months.

The overall goal of the annual exercise is to prepare the military for a worst-case scenario, where the nation's communication systems, airports and harbors have been destroyed, political leaders assassinated and the presidential plane hijacked.

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