The Ministry of National Defense will celebrate the new year with a streamlined and more efficient organizational system that is scheduled to be implemented today, along with its all-volunteer military.
The move represents the ministry’s biggest-ever organizational reform, a ministry spokesman said yesterday, adding that the number of military service personnel will drop from 275,000 to 215,000 by 2015.
The reorganization also combines the six military commands — Army Headquarters, Navy Headquarters, Air Force Headquarters, Combined Logistics Command, Armed Forces Reserve Command and Military Police Command — which have been combined and merged into Army Headquarters, Navy Headquarters, Air Force Headquarters and General Staff Headquarters.
The Combined Logistics Command has been integrated into the army, while the Armed Forces Reserve Command and the Military Police Command has been incorporated into the General Staff Headquarters.
The number of policy staff units at the ministry has been rearranged from six departments and six offices to four departments and seven offices, including two new offices in charge of inspection and disciplinary affairs, the report said.
The number of General Staff Headquarters units has been cut from seven offices to six, it added.
The reforms will help the military to “better adjust to changes in modern forms of warfare,” said Alexander Huang (黃介正), an assistant professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies of Tamkang University.
“Such reforms should have been carried out a long time ago,” said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方), who serves as convener of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee.
The reorganization also means that 101 positions for general-rank officers will be cut, Lin said, a move that he said favors the management and training of military units.
“There should not be too many general-rank officers in the military” because this means that generals have to compete with each other for promotions, which can lead them to neglect their duties, Lin said.
In related developments, the US Department of Defense announced on Thursday that the Louisiana-based Rapid Runway Repair Inc had been awarded a US$13.2 million fixed-price contract for fiberglass mat rapid runway repair kits for the Taiwan’s air force. The project is to be completed by June next year.
The air force has purchased a number of repair kits over the years, which provide the means to quickly repair runways following aerial bombardment.
Additional reporting by J. Michael Cole
See A PR on page 8