Tue, Jan 14, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Air force shows off capabilities ahead of Lunar New Year

Staff writer, with CNA

Army soldiers celebrate to welcome the press at a military base in Pingtung County on Sunday.

Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP

The air force demonstrated its defense capabilities yesterday during a drill at an air base in central Taiwan, showing its combat readiness ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday later this month.

During a media tour at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Greater Taichung, 427th Tactical Fighter Wing pilots gave a display of emergency takeoffs in four locally developed Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) jets.

This was followed by a simulated attack on the air base’s runway, where the IDF jet fighters usually take off and land.

A range of military vehicles and equipment was immediately mobilized and deployed to clean up and repair the “damaged” area so that the fighters could use the runway again as soon as possible.

The ability to repair a damaged runway is key to defending Taiwan against attacks by Chinese forces, the air force said.

In the event of a war across the Taiwan Strait, the Chinese military would likely attack the nation’s air bases first to hinder Taiwan’s combat abilities, the air force said.

It is very important that the Republic of China Air Force remains capable of repairing its runways in the shortest possible time, it said.

The drill was designed to highlight the military’s efforts to stay alert and maintain combat readiness ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday that starts on Jan. 30.

Meanwhile, as part of efforts to strengthen Taiwan’s air defense, the IDF fleet at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base is to implement an upgraded program later this year, said Major General Wang Tien-hu (王天祜), head of the 427th Tactical Fighter Wing.

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