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Air Force drill displays rapid runway repair skill

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's Air Force yesterday displayed its ability to quickly repair damaged airport runways following an air strike during an exercise at a Central Taiwan air base.

The drill was held at Ching Chuan Kang air base (清泉崗空軍基地) in Taichung as part of a series of exercises to test Taiwan military's combat readiness ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday that will begin later this month.

The drill began with pilots of the 427th Tactical Fighter Wing displaying emergency takeoffs with the locally developed Indigenous Defense Fighter (IDF) jets.

This was followed by a simulated attack launched by the four IDF aircraft when they fired flash bombs at the air base's runway in an attempt to simulate air strikes initiated by invading Chinese forces.

Following the simulated attack, a range of military vehicles and equipment were immediately mobilized by the air base's rapid runway repair team to repair the “damaged” area.

The Air Force said there are thousands of missiles stationed on China's southeastern coast targeting Taiwan.

In the event a cross-Taiwan Strait war breaks out, Chinese forces are very likely to focus their attack on Taiwan's air bases and airport facilities first in order to gain air superiority during military confrontations, the Air Force said.

This means that the Air Force has to be able to quickly repair its airport runways in the wake of attacks so that the airstrips can return to service as soon as possible.

The Air Force said it usually takes around four hours to complete repairing damaged runways following airstrikes. However, after years of trainings, the Air Force said it has now able to accomplish the mission within three hours.

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