Military stages emergency F-16 jet takeoff drill in Hualien before CNY
By Joseph Yeh, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Air Force yesterday staged an emergency F-16 fighter takeoff drill at an airbase in eastern Taiwan as part of a series of exercises to test its combat readiness ahead of the Lunar New Year break.
January 24, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The drill, which was open to the media and held early yesterday morning at the Air Force's 401st Tactical Fighter Wing in eastern Hualien County, saw two F-16 fighter jets take off in response to a simulated invasion of enemy forces.
It took less than six minutes for pilots and related Air Force personnel to finish preparations and to launch the aircraft after they first received instructions to do so.
The pre-takeoff preparations included loading missiles and ammunition onto the aircraft, as well as having the pilots put on their flight suits.
Other than the emergency takeoff drill, the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing also had an F-16 jet perform a flyover and a series of aerial maneuvers to showcase the pilot's skills.
Another highlight of yesterday's exercise was an interview with female Air Force Corporal Wu Pei-fang (吳佩芳) who is responsible for loading missiles onto the F-16 fighters.
The 22-year-old, who is shorter than her male counterparts, said she had undergone extra training to catch up with her colleagues physically and now she is fully capable of completing the task.
The Air Force said the exercise was held to test the military's efforts to stay alert and remain combat-ready ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year long break in February.
On Tuesday, the military also held an anti-submarine drill at a southern military port. During the drill two retrofitted U.S.-made coastal minehunters, among other vessels, made their public debut as part of testing the Navy's emergency response capability.