The army yesterday said that it would discipline 601st Air Cavalry Brigade Lieutenant Colonel Lao Nai-cheng (勞乃成) for wearing a NT$2 million (US$63,891) integrated helmet and display sight system (IHADSS) and a full flight suit to a Halloween party in October last year.
The Ministry of National Defense called Lao a disappointment and vowed to impose a harsh punishment after it was revealed that Lao — one of the nation’s first AH-64E Apache attack helicopter instructors trained in the US — took the helmet-mounted display used with the helicopter to a Halloween party.
The news came only a day after the military announced disciplinary action against Lao and other high-ranking officers at the Army Special Forces Command for taking a group of 20 people — including showbiz personality Janet Lee (李蒨蓉), members of her family and friends — into a restricted area at the brigade’s headquarters, where they posed around and inside Apache helicopters. The incident came to light after Lee posted four photos from her visit on Facebook.
Photo provided by a member of the public
The Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday reported that Lao’s wife, Chiu Ya-ching (邱雅靖) hosted the Halloween party at her home last year and that most of the guests were also on the controversial tour last week.
That Lao wore a flight suit and IHADSS at the party was revealed when Joyce Chang (張婉愉), an Audi Taiwan board member, posted photographs of Lao at the party on Facebook.
Chang deleted the pictures after they were publicized.
Ministry spokesman Major General David Lo (羅紹和) yesterday said that Lao’s actions were inappropriate and that he was a disappointment, adding that Lao damaged the image of the armed forces.
Lo said the ministry has asked Army Command Headquarters to launch an investigation, severely penalize Lao and discipline others at the brigade.
Each IHADSS unit costs NT$2 million and enables pilots to search for and shoot targets without having to look down at cockpit instrumentation. Lee and her husband are the only people in the nation to have been seen wearing the helmet publicly besides Apache pilots and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Army Command Headquarters later yesterday issued a statement saying that it has verified the incident and that it would discipline all service members involved, including Lao.
The army also plans to refer the case to prosecutors for further investigation, the statement added.
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