Taiwan staged a brigade-sized military drill aimed at defeating an airborne invasion of the country by paratroopers and airborne troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
The exercise this week involving the joint arms battalion of the 584 Armor Brigade that simulated repulsing an airborne assault of the Taoyuan International Airport. The mock attack conducted at the Hukou Army Base south of Taipei also saw the debut of the army's unmanned helicopter drone, said the Military News Agency.
Military scenarios expect any PLA amphibious invasion of Taiwan will be preceded by aerial attacks and air landing assaults on key command and control centers and other strategic targets such as airports by paratroopers, special forces units and other airborne troops.
The aim of the exercise was to hone the battalion's suppressive fire capabilities, battlefield surveillance abilities and defense skills. Army soldiers practiced destroying PLA anti-armor weapons while conducting air strike coordination. Emphasis was laid on armored vehicle offensive maneuvers, according to reports.
The combat exercise came only a day before the exit of President Donald Trump, which has been Taiwan's most supportive U.S. administration in decades in relation to Mainland China. Beijing calls Taiwan a renegade province and has called for reunification by force if necessary. Recent military tensions between the PLA and Taiwan include naval and air patrols in the sea lanes that separate Taiwan from Mainland China.
"No matter what is happening around the Taiwan Strait, our determination to guard our homeland will never change," said Maj. Gen. Chen Chong-ji, director of the department of political warfare in Taiwan, about the exercise.