Defense ministry sends out new year message, video: advancing bravely into 2021

As 2020 comes to an end, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) released a video on Facebook, along with a press release, assuring the public that the three branches of the military will bravely advance into 2021, and continue to build a solid combat strength in the face of the “severe regional situation.”

The message posted to the MND @MilitarySpokesman Facebook page noted that while 2020 has been a difficult year for many, the harder the times, the stronger the national military moves forward.

The 2:09 minute video, subtitled in both Chinese and English, shows excerpts from combat training exercises throughout 2020, including F-16 live fire practice, ground to air missile launches, tank maneuvers, naval patrols, and marine landing drills.

For Taiwan and its military forces, 2020 has been a tense year, with constant threats of aggression from belligerent neighbor, the People’s Republic of China, in the form of threatening rhetoric, and military maneuvers.

See previous story: Taiwan’s defense and foreign affairs officials call China’s military exercises a provocation and threat to regional security

Taiwan’s military has in response increased military readiness, and that increase has put a higher burden on military personnel and equipment. The year has seen casualties, with the loss of personnel.

Indeed 2020 started off as a tough year for the MND, with the death of the chief of armed forces, along with seven other high-ranking officers, after a helicopter crash on the second day of the new year, January 2.

On June 3, a marine inflatable boat flipped in rough seas during a landing exercise, leaving four people injured, three critically. Two of the critically injured died in the following days, and one of the supervisors overseeing the drill took his own life.

On October 9, one soldier was killed, and one injured after a tank overturned and caught fire while returning to base after combat exercises in Kinmen County.

On October 29, an F-5E crashed shortly after take-off from Taitung Air Force Base, killing the pilot.

November 17 saw the loss of another pilot, when an F-16 went down in the ocean shortly after take-off from Chaishan Air Force Base in Hualien City.

The MND said the video released today will be used to commemorate the soldiers who died in the line of duty.

The Ministry of National Defense emphasized that as the new year is about to begin, the officers and soldiers of the national army are already well prepared, without fear of hardships, to use their strength to fulfill their commitments to defend their homes and to stand on the front line of national security. The trust and support of the army are the greatest spiritual source and driving force of the national armed forces.

The end of the film also assures that, ” In 2021, we will continue to protect national security, please rest assured, the ROC Armed Forces are always there.”

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