Wed, Aug 10, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Han Kuang drills set for Aug. 22-26

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Major General Tung Yu-wen, director of the Ministry of National Defense’s Communications and Information Security Section, speaks at a press conference in Taipei yesterday on this year’s Han Kuang military exercises.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

The annual Han Kuang military exercises are to be held from Aug. 22 to Aug. 26, with the military to carry out a simulation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) mounting a large-scale invasion of Taiwan, Ministry of National Defense officials said yesterday.

Live-fire war games are to be staged at the Joint Operations Training Base Command in Pingtung County, Kinmen, Penghu naval bases and offshore target zones around the nation’s coastal regions.

Hsuehshan Tunnel (雪山隧道), which forms part of Freeway No. 5 and is a vital transportation link connecting Taipei and Yilan, is to be included in the drills for the first time.

Major General Chung Shu-ming (鍾樹明), director of the ministry’s Joint Operation Division, said the tunnel would be shut down in the early morning hours to minimize traffic disruption.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications will conduct a fire drill as part of the joint exercises to engage with search-and-rescue operation units from other government departments.

A public announcement on the date and time of the tunnel’s closure will be made pending confirmation of the program schedule.

According to MND officials, the situation will simulate a landing by the PLA’s amphibious units and special forces on Taiwan’s northeastern coast, which set up beachheads and then mount a rapid mobilized assault on Taipei by taking the most direct route through the Hsuehshan Tunnel.

In such an eventuality, the nation’s infantry armored brigades and engineering corps stationed in northern Taiwan must counter by using explosives to knock out certain sections of the tunnel, officials said.

This year’s exercises include an expanded program on electronic warfare, with Taiwan’s cyberarmy defending against cyberattacks aimed at disabling the nation’s computer networks and telecommunication links.

Chung said 20 cybersecurity experts and experienced information technology professionals from the private sector have been recruited to take part in the Han Kuang exercises for the first time, to engage in the electronic warfare program and to train the cyberarmy units.

The National Airborne Service Corps will also join the annual drills for the first time. The corps’ Black Hawk and AS365 Dauphin helicopters will simulate rapid response scenarios and rescue operations for transport and relief of wounded soldiers and civilians.

Additional reporting by CNA

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