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US military personnel reportedly spotted observing Taiwan Army drill

Taiwan's Eighth Army Corps exercise simulated real combat situations

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Soldiers march to position during annual Han Kuang military drill in Tainan on Sept. 14, 2021.

Soldiers march to position during annual Han Kuang military drill in Tainan on Sept. 14, 2021. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. military personnel were reportedly spotted at a Taiwan Army training session in Kaohsiung’s Gangshan District on Monday (March 27).

The 117th Brigade of the Army’s Eighth Corps conducted its new 14-day education and training session on Monday, simulating real combat situations including enemy forces approaching from the air, shelling, and gas attacks. The soldiers also went on a 5-km march.

As the troops trained, two foreigners were seen observing the drill and taking pictures. They are speculated to be U.S. military personnel but the Eighth Corps refused to comment on the matter.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday (Feb. 23) cited U.S. officials as saying that 100 to 200 soldiers will be sent to Taiwan in the coming months. Around 39 troops and Department of Defense staff are reportedly stationed in Taiwan as of September 22, 2022, according to the latest DMDC report.

Additionally, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on March 23 told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that he has assembled a team to “really dig down into the FMS (Foreign Military Sales) issues and identify logjams, and work through those logjams to try to expedite the delivery of key platforms.”