Taiwan to kick off biggest military exercise with live-fire drills

Taipei, The five-day Han Kuang military exercises, Taiwan's biggest annual military drill, will begin in northern, central and southern areas of Taiwan on Monday, with a focus on joint anti-airborne operations at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taichung.

According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), live fire exercises will take place until Friday, with military personnel divided into two groups -- red and blue -- to simulate battle situations.

The drills will have four focal points: joint air-sea combat operations, anti-landing operations in the north, anti-landing operation in the south, and joint anti-airborne combat operations in central areas, the ministry said in a statement.

The joint air-sea combat program is designed to simulate an invasion by Chinese communist military forces from different points of attack across the Taiwan Strait, with training locations in waters off Kaohsiung, Pingtung and Taitung due to the sensitivity of live-fire drills in the strait.

Anti-landing operation drills will begin on the west coast with non-live-fire "strategic confrontation," simulating how the military would act if Chinese forces landed in Taiwan.

Those troops will later head to the Army's Northern United Examination Center in Hukou Township, Hsinchu County, and Joint Operations Training Base in Hengchun, Pingtung County, for live-fire training.

As for joint anti-airborne operations in central Taiwan, the MND said these will be a key part of the military exercises this year, adding that reporters will be allowed to view the exercise in Taichung.

During this exercise, the ROC military will test its capability to react to a scenario in which Chinese military forces land at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, while civilian factories and other back-up units, such as Chunghwa Telecom, are mobilized to repair war-damaged combat facilities.

Drones operated by civilian companies will also be co-opted to undertake joint surveillance missions during anti-airborne operations, the MND said.

This is the first time civilian resources have been included in the annual military drill, which the ministry said aims to determine the optimal strategy to win an asymmetric war against China.

The live-fire drills are part of this year's Han Kuang military exercises, which also included computer-aided war games from April 30 to May 5.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel