The military is to conduct planned live-fire artillery drills in Pingtung County tomorrow and on Thursday to test the combat readiness of units amid China’s live-fire military exercises around Taiwan, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday.
The drills to be held near the county’s Fonggang (楓港) would involve 78 155mm self-propelled howitzers and six 120mm mortars, the source said.
They would be carried out by the Eighth Army Corps’ 43rd Artillery Command and 333rd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, and the defense commands in Hualien and Taitung counties, as well as the coast guard, the source said.
The army is also to conduct an annual exercise on Sept. 5, also in Pingtung, involving snipers from combined arms battalions, combat vehicles, Clouded Leopard armored vehicles and mortars.
The army’s AH-1W Super Cobra and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters would be deployed during the exercise, the source said.
The announcement of this week’s drills come after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) held four days of live-fire drills in six maritime areas around Taiwan that were expected to end yesterday.
Photo: Taiwan Military News Agency
On Thursday, the PLA fired 11 Dongfeng ballistic missiles into waters near Taiwan, in retaliation for US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the nation last week.
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday night, ignoring threats by China. Pelosi’s stopover, part of a wider tour of Asia, made the 82-year-old the first sitting US House speaker to visit Taiwan since 1997.
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