Weeks of antiterrorism training by US Army Special Forces instructors aimed at preparing the National Police Administration’s (NPA) First Peace Preservation Police Corps to provide security during the 2017 Universiade came to an end last week, sources within the NPA said.
The sources said that the decision to conduct the training was made last year after the world student games was brought up during a routine meeting between high-level NPA officials and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) personnel.
The Universiade, to be hosted by Taipei, is billed as world’s largest college athletics competition by its sponsor, the International University Sports Federation.
Eight American instructors, also known as “Green Berets,” taught 24 members of the First Peace Preservation Police Corps, with training conducted at the corps’ base in Taipei’s Shipai District (石牌), along with other “borrowed” venues.
In the first week of training, the instructors and police corps personnel exchanged ideas about training protocols and different antiterrorism strategies, the sources said.
This was followed by two weeks of courses in handgun and rifle shooting, urban and indoor combat, along with hostage rescue, the sources said, adding that the final two days included a series of urban, forest and indoor combat exercises, which were conducted continuously over 48 hours to be as realistic as possible.
Participants said the training left them with a strong impression, with one participant saying he was impressed by the differences to training he had previously received in Taiwan.
While domestic training requires officers to demonstrate caution and achieve objectives without suffering casualties, the Green Berets emphasized “being willing to do anything to achieve your goal,” with three members of a 10-member team dying considered normal, he said.
Other participants said they felt like they were participating in the Gulf War.
Under an agreement between NPA officials and the AIT, training was kept secret until last week. The Green Beret instructors were immediately spirited away by AIT officials after training concluded.
The Green Berets were established in 1952 with uniforms including the signature green cap from which their nickname is derived.
The caps bear insignia which is inscribed with the force’s Latin motto: De oppresso liber (“from being oppressed to freedom”).
Members undergo strict physical and combat training, which sometimes also includes language instruction.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
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