A Taiwanese military delegation yesterday attended the opening of the Pacific Amphibious Leaders Symposium (PALS) hosted jointly by the US Marine Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force in Tokyo.
PALS is an annual multinational forum for the leadership of the US Marines and their counterparts in allied or partnered nations to discuss shared security issues in the Pacific, with this year’s event being held in Japan for the first time in the forum’s history.
Taiwan’s delegation — which was invited by the US to take part as observers — comprised Rear Admiral Chang Shih-hsing (張世行), who commands the navy’s 151st Amphibious Fleet, a navy commander, a marine colonel and a marine major, according to official sources.
Photo: Lin Tsui-yi, Taipei Times
The delegates kept a low profile and attended the event in civilian clothing, with the organizers refraining from displaying the Republic of China flag.
The event would enable 25 participating nations to collaborate on tackling issues arising from unconventional threats, regional interoperability and force development in the face of a changing security environment, the US Marine Corps wrote in a news release last month.
US Marine Forces Pacific Commander Lieutenant General Steven Rudder and the Japanese Chief of the Ground Staff Yoshihide Yoshida are leading the three-day event.
The US-made HIMARS rocket artillery system, Japanese anti-ship missiles and a mid-air refueling drill of Japan’s MV-22 helicopters by a US tanker are to be demonstrated to delegates.
The first-ever PALS was held by the US Marines in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2015 and Taiwan was part of that event, having sent a delegation headed by Major General Liu Yu-ping (劉豫屏), then-commander of the 99th Marine Brigade.
In 2019, Taiwan returned to PALS with a delegation headed by Major General Liu Erh-jung (劉爾榮), then-commander of the Joint Operations Training Base.
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