US Army releases film on joint military exercises with Taiwan

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND, 國防部) responded on Monday to a 44-second promotional video posted by the U.S. 1st Special Forces Group which revealed rare footage of joint training exercises with Taiwan.

The MND gave an official statement confirming the accuracy of the video that shows the daily life and normal training schedules of the local soldiers. They also announced that the U.S. and Taiwan regularly engage in joint military exercises but would not comment on individual cases. 

For years, the United States Military has traveled to Taiwan to assist the army in combat training. However, details of the training program have always been kept under wraps, as the MND had always deemed the information classified.

Recently, more information has surfaced as the 1st Special Forces Group of the U.S. Army filmed a clip on the joint training exercises called “Excellence” to increase the two nations national image. 

The 1st Special Forces Group has four special operation battalions. One of their battalions is based in Okinawa, Japan while the other three are located in the McChord Air Force Base in Washington.

Together, the Group covers the United States West Bank, the Indo-Pacific region, New Zealand, Australia and parts of Central Asia. Each battalion is composed of multiple companies, also known as military units, which altogether, form the 1st Special Forces Group. 

Originally unveiled in February 2019, the “Excellence” project shows the U.S. special operations unit and the Taiwan army’s special operations unit jointly perform indoor situational training, personnel evacuation and other training situations.

In the video, several U.S. military instructors also paired up with special operations officers wearing Taiwan’s camouflage uniforms in the national military camp to simulate a tactical search and attack mission. They were later seen evacuating by a Taiwanese Black Hawk helicopter.

The film also highlights the national emblems of the U.S. and Taiwan, emphasizing that the U.S. Army will continue to stay and work in Taiwan.

Although the Trump administration has never allowed the details of these joint exercises to surface to prevent political retaliation from China, they have made it clear that the U.S. will continue to disclose the status of the cooperation with Taiwan through various channels.