Tue, Sep 08, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Armed forces commence annual military exercises

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The army conducts a landing drill yesterday on the first day of the Han Kuang military exercises.

Photo courtesy of the Military News Agency

The armed forces began their annual Han Kuang military exercises (漢光演習) yesterday, drilling troops and weapons mobilization for counter-strikes in the event of an invasion by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Among the first day’s main activities was a live-fire drill by the big guns of the 21st Artillery Command of the Republic of China Army’s 6th Corps, which took place at the army’s Kengzikou (坑子口) target practice range in Hsinchu County.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) attended the event at the range to observe the firepower of the self-propelled M109 and M110 howitzers, where the troops drilled artillery strikes as part of an anti-amphibious-landing drill.

This week’s Han Kuang exercises last five days, with the Ministry of National Defense overseeing exercises at military installations and airbases across the nation, including on the nation’s outlying islands.

The National Security Council is also coordinating with the military to hold its two-day “Political-Military Exercise,” simulating cyberattacks against water and electricity facilities, and against central government ministries by China’s cyberwarfare units.

The National Security Council exercises train Web managers and digital security experts to respond to Chinese cyberattacks to get computer networks and Web sites back online.

Another main focus of the first day of the drills was protecting major weapons and maintaining the military’s fighting strength to mount counterattacks in the event of a first strike on Taiwan by the PLA.

Air force bases and radar stations in the west were mobilized for countermeasures, surveillance of enemy advancement and situation assessment, while fighter jets were flown to the mountain cavern aircraft hangars at Hualien County’s Jiashan Air Base.

Defense ministry officials said the military exercises include both active and reserve troops and are larger in scale than last year’s, with drills by the three main branches of the armed forces, and for the first time with the participation of the the Tuo Jiang (沱江) stealth missile corvette and the Panshih (磐石) supply vessel, weapon-carrying drones and US-made P-3C marine patrol aircraft.

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