20 years of service for the ROC’s F-16s

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The R.O.C. Air Force Friday marked the 20th anniversary of the delivery of F-16 fighter jets from the United States.

A host of activities were held at the Air Force’s base in Chiayi to mark the occasion, including a flying demonstration by an F-16 jet.

Previous F-16 pilots, supporting ground crew and their families also were invited to the Air Force base to observe the anniversary, according to the Central News Agency. Taiwan ordered 150 F16 A/B jet fighters from the United States in 1992, and the first two planes were delivered to the Chiayi base on April 14, 1997. The F-16s have since been the backbone of the Air Force’s combat power. Air Force Cmdr. Shen Yi-ming (沈一鳴), speaking at the opening ceremony for the anniversary, said the Air Force must continue building its defensive forces to protect the country. As the F-16s are aging, Taiwan is seeking to upgrade its fleet of jet fighters.