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Taiwan held a live-fire joint-forces exercise "Lien Yung"

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (L) looks through binoculars while inspecting the Lien Yung annual j...

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (L) looks through binoculars while inspecting the Lien Yung annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan, June 7, 2012.


Taiwan held a live-fire joint-forces exercise yesterday in the southern county of Pingtung, one of the military's regular practices to test the country's defense capabilities. 

President Ma Ying-jeou watched the 43-minute “Lien Yung” drill held at a military training base in Pingtung, which included the shelling of machine gun and rifle positions, as well as the launch of precision anti-tank missiles.

The exercise involved 935 military personnel. Led by the Army, it also used members of the Air Force and Navy in the drill to simulate a defense of the country in a war scenario.

Participating weapons included an OH-58D reconnaissance helicopter, AH-1W attack helicopters, F-16A/B jet fighters, a Knox-class frigate, Javelin anti-tank missiles and several tanks.

The results of the exercise were “admirable,” Ma said in a 10-minute talk shortly after the completion of the exercise.

Col. Lee Ding-zhung also gave the thumbs-up to his armored brigade, the main unit in the drill, for successfully conducting the shelling of gun positions and the firing of missiles at targets.

Their performance was “highly recognized,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, the president also took the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to national defense and Taiwan's three-prong defense strategy.

Taiwan's three defense lines include the institutionalizing of Taiwan-China rapprochement, aligning national defense and diplomacy, and contributing to the international community, he added.

“We'll also continue to purchase foreign weapons that we cannot make ourselves over the next four years,” said Ma, who was inaugurated into a second term May 20.

Participating military personnel moved into the training base in early May and stayed there for five weeks to prepare for the exercise.

Ma's inspection tour of the exercise came after the annual Han Kuang series of military exercises, Taiwan's largest war games, which took place April 16-20. 
At that time, Ma was under fire because he was absent at the start of the exercises and was thus accused of neglecting national defense by the opposition. He was on a 12-day visit to three of Taiwan's African allies at the time.

The president inspected a command center shortly after his return from Africa April 18 and also watched a military relocation on the final day of the exercises.

During Thursday's drill, Ma also defended the exclusion of live ammunition in the Han Kuang exercises, which was also slammed by the opposition.

Reiterating the Ministry of National Defense's previous remarks, Ma said the arrangement factored in regional safety and the inconvenience caused to residents in areas around the locations used for live-fire exercises.

Since 2008, the ministry has excluded live ammunition from the Han Kuang war games. Such drills, however, are staged in other exercises throughout the year, Ma said.








"Lien Yung" Exercise Gallery

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, second from left, observes the mock battle field during the "Lien Yung" annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan Thursday, June 7, 2012.

A Taiwan soldier adjusts his helmet in front of a Taiwan flag during the "Lien Yung" annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan Thursday, June 7, 2012.

An AH-1W attack helicopter fires rockets at ground targets during the Lien Yung annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan, June 7, 2012.

An F-16 drops chaff cartridges during the "Lien Yung" annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan Thursday, June 7, 2012.

US-made CM11 tanks take part during the Lien Yung military drill in southern Pingtung county on June 7, 2012. Taiwan displayed its military might at the first live-fire drill simulating Chinese invasion at the very beginning of the second term in office of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.

US-made CM11 tanks take part during the Lien Yung military drill in southern Pingtung county on June 7, 2012. Taiwan displayed its military might at the first live-fire drill simulating Chinese invasion at the very beginning of the second term in office of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.

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US-made CM11 tanks take part during the Lien Yung military drill in southern Pingtung county on June 7, 2012. Taiwan displayed its military might at the first live-fire drill simulating Chinese invasion at the very beginning of the second term in office of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou


An F-16 drops chaff cartridges during the "Lien Yung" annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan Thursday, June 7, 2012.



Military personnel on CM11 battle tanks take part during the Lien Yung annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan, June 7, 2012.

US-made CM11 tanks take part during the Lien Yung military drill in southern Pingtung county on June 7, 2012. Taiwan displayed its military might at the first live-fire drill simulating Chinese invasion at the very beginning of the second term in office of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou.


Tanks leave smoke screens on the battle field during the "Lien Yung" annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan Thursday, June 7, 2012.

A Javelin missile is seen fired from behind a covered position during the Lien Yung annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan, June 7, 2012.

A white phosphorous shell explodes on target during the Lien Yung annual joint forces exercises in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan, June 7, 2012.

Photos source: Daylife


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