Taiwan is stepping up military cooperation with long-standing partners and forging new ties as it bolsters training exercises with the US Army Special Forces and trains officers and soldiers from an undisclosed Middle Eastern country, a high-ranking military official said yesterday.
The Republic of China Military Police Special Services Company, commonly called the Night Hawks, has standing collaborations with the US Army Special Forces, commonly known as the Green Berets, for regular joint exercises, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Taiwan and the US have increased the frequency of training and adapted course materials to meet the needs of the security situation in East Asia, the official added.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
One of the joint exercises added to the program last year involved observing Green Berets training in a simulated battle zone in Washington state, they said.
Through the training, the Night Hawk unit aimed to sharpen its knowledge of wartime military operations and boost the special operations capabilities of the Military Police Command.
The Night Hawks’ standing invitation to participate in the annual Pacific Area Special Operations Conference would expand its network, and help it look beyond Taiwan and regional concerns, the official added.
The source also said that Taiwan has reached an agreement with a Middle Eastern country to provide counterterrorism training to that nation’s officers and soldiers in Taiwan, without disclosing the country’s name.
The first group of trainees has completed their training and returned to their home country, but the second group’s arrival has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the source said.
The deal is a breakthrough for the command, they said, adding that high-ranking officers from both sides visited each nation last year.
The Ministry of National Defense is to schedule a visit to the Middle Eastern country and send a platoon of Night Hawks for training exercises once the pandemic eases, the source said.
Visits by high-ranking officers to Taiwan and the Middle Eastern country would likely be normalized in the future, the source added.
Taiwan’s special forces are respected internationally and are one of the few units in Asia that can train themselves and provide counterterrorism training to other nations, the source said.
Separately on Friday, the ministry said that a Chinese Y-8 military transport aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone while flying over waters southwest of the nation.
The intrusion occurred at about noon, the ministry said, adding that the aircraft left the area after being warned over radio by Taiwanese fighter jets.
It was the seventh time this year that Chinese military aircraft have been spotted flying near Taiwan.
Air activity over the waters surrounding Taiwan are being closely monitored by the military, the ministry said.
“At present, there is no cause for alarm,” it added.
Additional reporting by CNA
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