Taiwan military working towards 169,000 active personnel goal

Yen Teh-fa is hopeful that Taiwan’s military will total 169,000 active personnel by 2020

File photo: Yen Teh-fa

File photo: Yen Teh-fa (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan's Minister of National Defense, Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發), said that the military hopes to reach its goal of 169,000 total active personnel by 2020, during a hearing at the Legislative Yuan.

Yen attended a hearing of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee on Nov. 5, and reported on the military’s education, innovation, and policy.

Yen’s comments were made in relation to a host of questions regarding the armed force’s personnel numbers, composition, and recruitment.

The armed forces’ biggest recruitment problem is enrollment of non-commissioned officers, of which the military requires 70,000 in total, according to Yen.

Yen revealed that, at present, Taiwan’s military has around 215,000 active personnel, but in practice, the military only requires around 188,000 people, according to their strategic planning. He went on to say that he hopes the military will reach its target level of 169,000 by the end of 2020.

Yen went on to assure the Legislative Yuan that personnel proportion within each branch of the armed forces will be reviewed from top-to-bottom, and corrections will be carried out.

At present, Yen suggested the total number of troops in the Taiwan Army is about 153,000, and he hopes that figure will grow to 158,000 next year.

During the hearing it was also revealed that Taiwan is mulling over a potential purchase of U.S. autonomous helicopters and naval mines.