Thursday, April 19, 2012

Anti-airborne drill at Hsinchu Air Force Base

A few observations on the drill at Hsinchu AFB, on day four of the 28th annual Han Kuang series of military exercises

I got up at 4:30am on Thursday to attend an anti-airborne drill at Hsinchu Air Force Base on day four of the weeklong 28th Han Kuang military exercises. While, as had already been established, the exercise did not involve live fire, it nevertheless provided some occasional eye candy.

In all, 1,584 personnel were mobilized from the 499th Tactical Fighter Wing, special operations forces, a chemical group, an engineering group, a signals group and armored cavalry units. Thirty-four types of weapons were involved, including Mirage-2000s, C-130s, AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters, OH-58D surveillance helicopters, Antelope air defense systems (with Tien Chien I surface-to-air missiles), M-41D tanks and V-150 APCs.

In the opening salvo, more than 200 paratroopers from Army Special Operations Command — the main component of OPFOR (Red Team) — jumped from seven C-130s and took positions in preparation for taking over Hsinchu AFB. In response, the 499th Tactical Fighter Wing led the Blue Team and deployed anti-airborne defenses. Across the theater of operations, orders were relayed to air, ground and sea forces, including the 601st Air Cavalry Brigade, artillery and military police units, as they struck at OPFOR upon landing.

With the 862nd Special Warfare Brigade providing cover fire from various ground and elevated positions, the Special Air Service under the Aviation and Special Warfare Command, moved in to occupy key positions around the base. The Red Team also came under attack from AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters, while a pair of OH-58D conducted surveillance. Blue Team mopped up the landing zone with eight M-41Ds and two V-150s.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First of all, thanks a mil for an interesting blog on Taiwan's national defense.

Given the budgetary constraints faced by most nations, save the BRICs who seem to generate cashflow faster than "Helicopter Ben" can print greenbacks, it seems wise to focus on air superiority, supplemented by fast attach crafts. If the Falklands skirmish serves as any guide, a couple of missiles spent seem to offer better value than tonnage of steel floating on the sea. In addition to a focus on asymetrical warfare, Taiwan would be well advised to bolster its anti-submarine capabilities, another sorely-needed area of development in order to avoid a blockade vital shipping lanes.

Finally, aside from these defensive measures, Taiwan should refine its tactical missile arsenal to ensure that there is no miscalculation of costs involved on the other side of the Taiwan Strait should it choose aggression.