Wed, Nov 20, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Military holds drill to prepare for air attacks

By Aaron Tu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The air force early yesterday morning launched joint exercises to simulate protective maneuvers when enemy aircraft are approaching to better prepare its anti-aircraft capabilities.

It was a an arranged routine exercise, not a surprise drill in response to China’s “Type 001A” aircraft carrier and its escorts transiting the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the Ministry of National Defense said.

The Chinese carrier group sailed south through the Taiwan Strait trailed by US and Japanese ships, the ministry said on Sunday.

Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy spokesman Cheng Dewei (程德偉) on Monday confirmed the warships’ passage.

However, he said that it was “normal practice” and part of the aircraft carrier’s testing and training, not aimed at any specific target.

The air force said that yesterday’s routine exercise addressed its needs to be prepared against regional threats to national defense, adding that the drill incorporated both military and civilian capabilities.

The joint exercise utilized the anti-aircraft capabilities of the entire armed forces, including cyberwarfare, the ministry said.

F-16s launched from Hualien Air Force Base simulated an opposition force attacking Taiwan’s coastal anti-aircraft batteries, as well as navy and Coast Guard Administration facilities.

Chief of the General Staff Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴) and air force Commander-in-Chief Hsiung Hou-chi (熊厚基) presided over the exercise.

Additional reporting by CNA

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