Taiwan military simulates repelling Chinese attack on Hualien port

Taiwan Army and Air Force simulated defense against an attack on Hualien by PLA forces

Soldier fires shoulder-mounted rocket during drill.

Soldier fires shoulder-mounted rocket during drill. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan's Hua-tung Defense Command yesterday (Jan. 30) simulated an attack on the Port of Hualien by People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces of China, reported CNA.

The drill, which is held every year before the Lunar New Year holiday, simulated a counter attack to a large-scale assault by PLA forces to seize strategic facilities at the Port of Hualien. In the drill, the Army and Air Force deployed Cobra attack helicopters, F-16 fighters, anti-aircraft missiles, M60A3 tanks, and other assets that would be used to repel such an assault.

Combat troops from the Hualien garrison were deployed in the exercise and were backed by F-16 fighter jets and unidentified warships off the coast. This was followed by a display of Skyguard radar vehicles and Sparrow missiles in a simulated engagement against a cluster of virtual PLA forces trying to approach the port area.

(CNA image)

The Army then trained 155 mm howitzers and the guns of CM22 armored personnel carriers onto a likely landing spot for PLA forces. Snipers also practiced taking down PLA infantrymen from hundreds of meters away.

Light tactical vehicles and motorcycles then performed reconnaissance on both flanks of the battlefield and successfully took out mock enemy soldiers.

Sniper. (CNA image)

AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters then made of display of might by using their superior firepower to destroy a simulated enemy convoy near the port. M60A3 tanks and M113 armored personnel carriers formed a coordinated attack on a simulated amphibious landing by PLA forces.

AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter firing flares. (CNA image)

Most of the mock PLA forces were "annihilated" in the port area, while the remnants of retreating forces were pursued by F-16s, AH-1 Cobras, and were pummeled by fire from CM22 guns, according to the CNA report.

CM22 armored personnel carriers. (CNA image)

Hua-tung Defense Command First Lieutenant Commander Lin Huimin (林暉閔) told CNA that in the event of of a threat, Army troops are trained to be ready to be deployed within 15 minutes, while at night, the reaction time required to be fully assembled is 25 minutes.

AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter firing flares. (CNA image)

Tensions between Taiwan and China have been on the rise lately as Beijing has stepped up its air and sea patrols near Taiwan's borders and unilaterally opened up controversial new flight path for its airlines, and potentially spy planes, the controversial northbound M503 civil aviation route.

M60A3 tanks behind smokescreen. (CNA image)

F-16 fighter jets. (CNA image)