Reservist training programme to continue next year
Ministry of National Defense (MND) Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng says the military's dual-track reservist training programme will be continued into next year, but more reservists could be asked to take part in the intensive training programmes.
Speaking at a legislative hearing, Chiu said the defence ministry has recently completed a review of the reservist program and details of that review will be released soon. The programme was launched in March of this year and is currently being run on a trial basis.
Under the programme, some reservists undergo two weeks of intensive training twice in their eight years as reservists rather than the existing five to seven-day regimen four times every eight years.
Figures show only 15,000 reservists took part in the new training plan during the first three quarters this year, while 97,000 are continuing to be trained under the existing five- to seven-day regimen. The MND had previously said it would conduct a review of the new programme in the fourth quarter to see if it was generating the desired results before deciding whether to fully commit to it or continue using the dual-track system.
In other military news, the US-Taiwan Business Council claims Washington is considering a plan to jointly produce weapons with Taiwan. If it happens, council president Rupert Hammond-Chambers says the initiative would be aimed at speeding up arms transfers to boost the island military deterrence against China.
Hammond-Chambers says the plan is currently "at the beginning of the process" and it has yet to be determined which weapons would be considered as part of the effort.Hammond-Chambers says the initiative will likely focus on providing Taiwan with more munitions and long-established missile technology.
However, hewarned that any such move would require arms manufacturers to obtain co-production licenses from the State and Defense departments and it remains questionable whether licenses will be approved for critical technology. Nikkei is reporting that the US could provide technology to produce weapons in Taiwan or produce the weapons in the United States using Taiwan-made parts.