Monday, December 10, 2012

Taiwanese F-16 pilots came close to participating in multinational Red Flag exercise

F-16s from the 421st Fighter Squadron at Red Flag 12-4
While fears of Beijing’s reaction scuttled the plan, insiders believe that Taiwanese pilots will be able to eventually participate in the large-scale military exercise 

Taiwanese air force pilots came very close this year to participating for the first time in a highly realistic and high-intensity combat training exercise in the US, but a last-minute decision by Washington prevented them from doing so over fears of Beijing’s reaction, a defense magazine reports in its current issue. 

According to the Chinese-language Asia-Pacific Defense Magazine, Taiwanese F-16 pilots were invited to participate in the RED FLAG 12-4 combat exercise held in July, but after a “careful assessment” by senior White House officials, the US side canceled the invitation over fears of China’s reaction and a potential impact on bilateral ties. 

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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