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Defense News

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(Military News Agency reporter, Chen Jian-Xing, Taipei, March 9th) In the Legislative Yuan Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee Meeting, Minister of National Defense Gao Guang-Chi conducted a report on the current national defense measures, explained the major defense policies and proposed implementation plans for 2016. He stressed that, based on the concepts of “war prevention” and the strategies of “Strong defense for Effective Deterrent”, the military will strive to promote military building and combat readiness, and improve the response capacities of non-conventional threats such as disaster relief and rescue to ensure the security of the people and properties.

Regarding the major policies, Minister Gao pointed out that in order to improve the joint proficiency of the armed forces, the military has procured new weapons and equipment such as the early detection radars, P-3C Maritime patrol aircraft, Tuo River Class Corvette, Panshi Fast Combat Support Ship, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Taiwan Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Thunderbolt-2000 RT/LT-2000 Multiple Missile System, Hsiung Feng III Anti-submarine Missile, Patriot-3 Missiles, AH-64E and UH-60M helicopters. These weapons will be integrated into the joint combat training of the respective departments to ensure the development of the full potential, while the performance of the F-16 A/B and the IDF Fighter Planes will also be improved to ensure the development of a strong fighting force.

Minister Gao expressed that, in terms of military recruitment, last year (2015) the military recruited 18,550 fulltime soldiers and achieved 132.5% of the original target while the soldier retention rate was 73.2%, an increase of 11.8% as compared to 2014. On the other hand, regarding the vacancies for specific specializations, the military will utilize civilian, military and other diversified training channels in conjunction with the military vocational training to improve the specialized proficiency of the troops.

Minister Gao stressed that, in the active preparation for military training, the military has met the strict, difficult and practical training requirements to complete the basic training of different soldier types each year and 128,000 soldiers has completed the training. Training items such as “Combat Physical Fitness”, “Comprehensive Martial Arts”, and “Combat Shooting” are included into the training of the active standing forces. Live round shooting and resistance training courses are also strengthened for the military base training and joint combat training of the armed forces, and over 307 departments have completed the training sessions. As for the joint exercise series of the armed forces, some of the trainings will be implemented according to the original plans or incorporated with the Han-Kuang Exercises, while 2 rounds of “Armed Forces Live Round Shooting Exercise” will be conducted to increase the overall combat proficiency.