Two military helicopters were deployed in a drill yesterday, landing and taking off from the plaza of the headquarters of the Ministry of National Defense in Taipei’s Dazhi (大直) area, the ministry said.
An S-70C, used for rescue missions, and a UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopter departed from the Air Force’s Songshan base and landed inside the compound, the ministry said.
The helicopters took off shortly afterward, completing the drill which was held to strengthen combat readiness and emergency response measures, it said.
Asked about the drill on the sidelines of a legislative session in Taipei yesterday, Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said that it was part of military training aimed at beefing up the nation’s defense capabilities.
The drill was intended to ensure military preparedness for the transportation of troops and materials by helicopter, Feng said.
It was the first time helicopters had landed in the plaza in front of the ministry’s headquarters since the ministry relocated to Dazhi in late 2014, the Chinese-language Apply Daily reported, citing an unnamed source.
The headquarters are believed to be linked to the Hengshan Command Center, a facility nestled deep under the mountains surrounding Taipei which serves as the military’s main command and control center in the case of an emergency.
Other reports described the drill as simulating the removal of the president from the Presidential Office Building before securing it in the event of a national emergency, but the reports were not officially confirmed.