As the Chinese Communist Party’s military threat to Taiwan has increased, the Army Aviation and Special Forces Command plans to station brigades of Apache helicopters at Feng Nien Airport in Taitung County in order to strengthen Taiwan’s military preparedness.
It is understood that the command’s Apache helicopters will use the airport as one of many designated areas for rotational training. However, the plan is still awaiting approval as noise concerns have arisen and negotiations with local authorities continue, according to Liberty Times.
Su Tzu-yun, a scholar at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research, pointed out that this new plan can provide support to eastern Taiwan, while simultaneously allowing Aviation and Special Forces Command pilots normally stationed in western Taiwan to become familiar with the entire nation’s landscape. Su explained that this will contribute to quicker response times during a conflict.
Su also said that Feng Nien Airport has the perfect infrastructure, optimal conditions for helicopter rotation, and excellent terrain and geographical location, which will help increase Taiwan’s Armed Forces’ flexibility in deploying troops.
The Army Aviation and Special Forces Command currently has 29 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and 61 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters. In 2014, the Army purchased 60 UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters from the US 30 of which were transferred to the command and can be outfitted with military equipment and armaments to carry out missions during wartime.
The Aviation and Special Forces Command currently stations its helicopters in Longtan, Taoyuan; Xinshe, Taichung; and Guiren, Tainan all of which are located in western Taiwan.