Apache incident not the first: Taipei City councilor

Taipei, April 8 (CNA) Taipei City Councilor Lee Ching-yuan (???) on Wednesday revealed another breach of secutiry rules by the Army's 602nd Aviation Brigade in Taichung five years ago. Lee made the revealtion at a TV talk show in the wake of a scandal involving the Aviation Special Forces Command, which has led to the removal of its commander and punishments of higher-level officers, including Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yen De-fa (???) and Army Commander Gen. Chiu Kuo-cheng (???). At the center of the scandal is Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng (???), the deputy head of a helicopter squadron in Taoyuan under the Army Aviation Special Forces Command, who has since been removed from his post. Lao was found to have brought a group of people, including TV hostess Janet Lee (???), her relatives and friends, to see the Apaches at their base in Longtan March 29 without approval from his superiors. Some of the visitors even boarded an Apache to take photos. The case came to light after Lee posted four photos of the tour on her Facebook page, including one of her in the chopper's cockpit, drawing media criticism of loose security in Taiwan's military. It was also found that Lao, a pilot in the Army's 601st Aviation Brigade, had not returned an Apache flight helmet after a training mission last October but rather had worn it as part of a Halloween costume at a party at his home, according to a Defense Ministry investigation. Lee said that a high ranking officer at the 601 Brigade took his personal friends, including cabinet-level government officials and executives of listed companies into the base to take close looks at the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, then the most advanced weapon of its kind in Taiwan's armed forces. According to the councilor, the unauthorized civilian visit was arranged by Chao Hsi-ping (???), then commander of the 10th Army Corps, who enjoyed special privileges because he was a school mate of Chang Nu-chao (???), then commander of the Army Airborne Special Operations Forces. (By Huang Li-yun and Ted Chen)