Taiwan looks to Israel for reserve forces overhaul

Country seeks to revamp training of reservists for better combat preparedness

(Facebook, Israel Defense Forces photo)

(Facebook, Israel Defense Forces photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan will send military and think tank representatives to Israel next year to learn about its reserve mobilization systems with the aim of improving military preparedness.

This plan was incorporated into the defense budget for 2021. The visit will be focused on studying the organization, mobilization, deployment, and welfare systems of the Middle Eastern country’s citizen soldiers, reported Liberty Times.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in June vowed to reform Taiwan’s reserve forces, underscoring the importance of interdepartmental cooperation and rapid mobilization. A five-year blueprint for an evaluation of Taiwan's military manpower, which the Ministry of National Defense (MND) submitted for legislative review on Monday (Aug. 31), stresses the need to bolster equipment and training for the country's reservists.

A budget of NT$610,000 (US$20,773) has been set aside for the one-week inspection trip, slated to take place between July and September 2021, to take notes on Israel's personnel arrangements and wages for reservists. The MND has suggested making changes to Taiwan's mobilization units and the frequency of recalling and training reservists, according to the report.

Since 2015, members of Taiwan’s military reserve force have visited Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, Israel, the U.K., and the U.S. to learn about those nations’ reserve mobilization mechanisms. The scheduled trip to Finland this year was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Israel is known for its conscription of all citizens over the age of 18 and its mandatory reserve service. Around 86,000 Israeli reservists were called up to provide reinforcements during the Gaza conflict in 2014.

Updated : 2021-03-09 00:47 GMT+08:00