Wed, Mar 25, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ministry set to run military camps for young people

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday announced it would again hold a series of summer training camps for high-school and college students.

It said the camps would introduce students to different aspects of the armed forces and include classes on tank squadrons, paratroopers, marine frogmen, medical officer corps, warship crews, honor guards and pilot training.

Students would be able to learn about basic and specialized training, combat exercises, driving armored vehicles, fighter jet flight simulation, operating technical equipment and handling weapons, it added.

The ministry launched the summer camp program in 2006 to promote the idea of an all-civilian fighting force to defend the nation, ministry spokesperson Major General David Lo (羅紹和) said.

“It can work in support of the shift to an all-volunteer military force from the conscription system,” Lo told a press conference. “Students getting hands-on experience and engaged in exercise and weapons training might motivate them to sign up for advanced training and education to become professional soldiers.”

The four and five-day camps are scheduled to start in the last week of June and run through the first week of August.

Depending on the programs and units involved, the camps are to be held at military bases nationwide, including on Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.

The Amphibious Fighters Challenge Camp — to be operated by the Marine Corps at Zouying Naval Base in Kaohsiung — is recognized as the most challenging and physically demanding of the camps.

“We will conduct physical training at sea and on beaches, simulate amphibious assaults and give instruction on outdoor survival, rock climbing, rappelling and combat skills,” Chief Petty Officer Ku Chun-yi (古春義) said.

When asked if the camp’s physical training might be too much for some out-of-shape students, Ku — who is part of the Amphibious Reconnaissance Group — said: “It is not going to be like boot camp in the army.”

“We will use encouragement and a supportive team spirit to help students complete the classes,” the field training instructor said. “We want to assure parents that there will be no punishments handed out; the goal is for students to enjoy their outing and take pride in experiencing military-style training classes.”

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