The Republic of China (ROC) Navy’s 124th Fleet yesterday anchored at the Port of Taipei in New Taipei City’s Bali District (八里) to conduct its National Defense Educational Trip and Open House.
The event was planned for Kaohsiung, where it is normally held, but with navy personnel deployed to provide disaster relief for flooding in the nation’s south last year, it was moved, Navy Command Headquarters said.
As people have been asking the navy for a long time to hold more activities in the north, the Ministry of National Defense relocated the event to Taipei Harbor, the navy said.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
About 1,000 people attended the event and military enthusiasts were lining up at the entrance an hour before the commencement ceremony.
A Kang Ding-class frigate and other ships headlined the military equipment on display, while there was a parade of a navy honor guard and a flyover of ROC Air Force Dassault Mirage 2000 fighters.
As the fleet had no previous experience docking at Taipei Harbor, the event was being conducted with more precautions than before, Lieutenant Junior Grade Chung Men-hung (鍾旻宏) said.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Petty Officer Third Class Chiu Ming-hung (邱明宏) said he has been a naval honor guard for three years and he had worked a stint as a print advertisement model.
He likes the stability of military employment so far, Chiu said.
The principal of an elementary school in Bali said he headed a field trip to the event because the harbor is close to the school and he wanted to teach the children about national defense.
Photo: screen grab from Facebook
The fleet is to open guided on-deck tours for the general public, while there are tours for central government officials and lawmakers, mayors and city councilors from 8am to 4pm today.
In other news, the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology on Thursday unveiled a score of collectible cast-metal scale models of Hsiung Feng III missiles for NT$6,000 apiece, which sold out within the day.
Over the past two years, the institute has sold a range of merchandise on Facebook, including baseball hats bearing a stylized missile and the institute’s logo, mugs with heat-sensitive images, fine china and origami missiles.
The institute hired a contractor to manufacture the cast-metal models after hobbyists sought more substantial and realistic models than the paper ones, a source at the institute said.
The first batch of 20 was made to test the waters and the enthusiastic response bodes well for the project, the source said.
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