MND says 450,000-strong force is ready

DEPLOYMENT SPEED: Association of Strategic Foresight research fellow Chieh Chung said that the key is whether reserve forces can be rapidly deployed when a crisis hits

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 23, 2020
By: Jake Chung / Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of National Defense (MND) Yen De-fa, left, answers questions from lawmakers during a session of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

The nation could deploy 450,000 soldiers — including roughly 260,000 reservists and 185,000 standing forces — as a first-response force in the event of a military invasion, Minister of National Defense (MND) Yen De-fa (嚴德發) told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) asked whether the ministry had an estimate of how long it would take to recall reservists if a war broke out, adding that, if not, the ministry should definitely conduct simulation exercises.

The ministry has plans to conduct such simulations in 2022, Yen said, adding that recall and training programs would be staggered for the least disruption to social order.

Chiang said that the ministry must have the information, even at the cost of disrupting society.

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