Sat, Sep 22, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Fishing boat drifts into attack drill, disrupts exercise

Staff writer, with CNA

A fishing boat that entered the waters around Penghu by mistake during a military exercise in Penghu County is escorted away by the coast guard yesterday.

Photo: Liu Yu-ching, Taipei Times

A fishing boat yesterday briefly interrupted a military drill held off the outlying island of Penghu by the Penghu Defense Command.

The drill was held in waters near the city of Magong at 5:45am to emulate a scenario in which enemy ships cut sea lane supplies and launch an all-out attack and was designed to test the joint combat mechanism of the armed forces.

However, in the middle of the drill, a fishing boat sailed into the drill zone, which interrupted the firing of 120mm mortars. The incident was immediately dealt with and the drill continued until its completion just before 7am.

Cheng Kungclass frigates, F-16 fighters, AH-IW helicopters, 120mm mortars, 155mm howitzers and M60A3 tanks took part in the event.

Yang An (楊安), head of the Political Affairs Department of the Penghu Defense Command, said the military had informed fishermen prior to the drill, but added that the vessel had obviously ignored the warning.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense announced that the accuracy rate of the just-concluded live-fire missile test was 84.6 percent.

The ministry said in a news release that out of 25 land-to-air chaparral missiles fired, 22 hit their targets, while 22 out of 27 stinger missiles made successful hits.

The ministry said the results were better than those of a drill staged in the first half of the year.

However, it added that performance was affected by low clouds and unstable weather during the period Sept. 12-20 at Jiupeng base in Pingtung Couty.

The drill integrated the army’s Artillery Training Command with the Short-Range Anti-Air Attack Force which are designed to defend Taiwan proper as well as Penghu.

The ministry said it is to continue to strengthen its training to upgrade the country’s short-term anti-air attack combat capabilities.

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