US Air Force Special Operations Command tanker flies over Taiwan Strait

Ministry of National Defense monitored Thursday morning flight from north to south

A group of MC-130J tankers flying over New Mexico (USAF photo by Matthew Plew)

A group of MC-130J tankers flying over New Mexico (USAF photo by Matthew Plew) (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A United States Air Force Special Operations Command MC-130J Commando II tanker flew over the Taiwan Strait from north to south Thursday (August 29), according to the Ministry of National Defense.

The flight occurred around 11 a.m., with the ministry saying it monitored the event from start to finish, with nothing out of the ordinary happening, the Central News Agency reported.

The flight happened shortly after the U.S. approved the sale of 66 F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan, while an amphibious San Antonio-class vessel sailed through the Taiwan Strait from south to north on August 23, CNA noted.

In a news release Thursday, the Ministry of National Defense said it was able to monitor all air and sea traffic in the areas surrounding Taiwan and to respond in an appropriate manner.

According to the website of its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, the MC-130J is “capable of worldwide employment for missions requiring clandestine single- or multi-ship low-level aerial refueling of Special Operation Force vertical and tilt-rotor aircraft and/or infiltration, resupply and exfiltration by airdrop, or landing on remote airfields.”

The US Air Force says the plane can fly missions at night to resupply special ops units in “politically sensitive or hostile territories,” while it can also be used for the airdrop of leaflets.