TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In a sign of Taiwan's increased military exchanges with other nations, an inside source says that an elite unit of Taiwan's special forces is training soldiers from an undisclosed Middle Eastern country.
A high-ranking military official told Liberty Times that special forces soldiers from a certain Middle Eastern country have been receiving counter-terrorism training by troops from Taiwan's Military Police Special Services Company (MPSSC), better known as the Night Hawks (夜鷹特勤隊). The official said that this exchange of military expertise is a result of encouragement and support from the U.S.
The source said that the first batch of counter-terrorism trainees has already completed training and returned to their home country. The second batch of troops was originally scheduled to arrive in Taiwan for training, but the trip was postponed due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and is expected to resume once it is over.
The senior official said that these training sessions are the first such exchange between Taiwan's Military Police Command and this friendly country. The source cited a "King" as having provided consent for a high-ranking delegation to visit Taiwan late last year to discuss the details of the cooperation with the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and the Military Police Command.
Night Hawks in action. (CNA photo)
In exchange, Taiwan's military also sent a high-ranking military delegation to visit the Middle Eastern country. According to the official, after the pandemic slows down, Taiwan will again send a high-level military delegation to visit this year and discuss plans on sending a platoon of Military Police Command forces to the country for a small force exchange.
The long-term goal is to normalize mutual visits by high-level generals and force exchanges between the two countries in the future. The official pointed out that Taiwan's special forces have been engaged in exchanges with the U.S. Green Berets for a long period of time.
However, since the passing of the Taiwan Travel Act in 2018, exchanges between the militaries of Taiwan and the U.S. have been on the increase, reported CNA. In addition, exchanges between Taiwanese high-ranking officers and their NATO counterparts have also been on the rise.
Night Hawks in formation. (Wikimedia Commons)
The Night Hawks were founded in 1978 as a special forces unit of the Army. They are based in northern Taiwan and derive their name from their telltale black uniforms and secretive nature.
The team is trained in anti-hijacking, anti-sabotage, anti-kidnapping and hostage training, and protection of senior officials and diplomatic envoys. The existence of this elite unit makes Taiwan one of the few countries in Asia that can train its special forces units as well as train soldiers from friendly countries in counter-terrorism.