The air force base in Hsinchu City is holding an open day today from 9am to 4pm, where the nation’s Thunder Tigers aerobatic display team is to put on a performance in their AT-3 trainer jets.
The day is also set to feature F16s, Mirage 2000s and the nation’s Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDF) in action.
Ministry of National Defense officials said the event is a rare opportunity for civilians to enter the Hsinchu Air Base, interact with military personnel and to tour a display of aircraft and weapons, so that the public can be confident of the professionalism and combat readiness of the nation’s troops.
The ministry gave Hsinchu residents and reporters a preview of the open day on Thursday, with the Thunder Tigers undertaking the first public performance of aerial stunts and formation flying since a training accident that killed one of the team’s members in October last year.
The preview saw spectators burst into applause after a thrilling air show by the Thunder Tigers, followed by equally impressive aerial performances by Taiwanese pilots in IDFs, F16s and Mirage 2000 fighters.
On the runway, the public can get a close-up look at the fighter jets and gain an understanding of Taiwan’s weapons modernization program over the past decade, with armored personnel carriers, radar equipment, artillery cannons, truck-mounted missile launchers and other types of military vehicles on display.
Another section of the runway is to showcase a range of US-made aircraft, including an E-2K Hawkeye early warning airplane, a C-130 Hercules transport airplane, an AH-1W Cobra helicopter, an AH-64E Apache helicopter and a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
Air Force Major General Tsao Chin-pin (曹進平) invited members of the public to visit and have a good look inside the air base, which houses the 499th Tactical Fighter Wing, of which he is the commanding officer.
In between the air shows, the public is to be entertained by the Air Force Marching Band and a performance by its Honor Guard Rifle Drill Team, Tsao said.
There will be shuttle buses to the base between 7am and 3pm from the bus stop next to the rear exit of Hsinchu City Station, as well as from the High Speed Rail’s Hsinchu terminal in Jhubei City (竹北).
Entry to the base requires a visitor to present their ID card to verify they are Taiwanese.
Foreign nationals who are married to Taiwanese must show their ARC or APRC and be accompanied by their spouse to enter the military facility.
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