UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopter lands on the tarmac at MND headquarters.
(Photo courtesy of the Military News Agency)
Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) Two military helicopters were deployed in a drill on Friday, landing and taking off from the plaza of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) headquarters in Taipei's Dazhi area, the ministry said.
A S-70C, used for rescue missions, and a UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopter departed from the Air Force's Songshan base and landed inside the MND compound, it said.
The helicopters took off shortly afterwards, completing the drill which was held to strengthen combat readiness and emergency response measures, it said.
Asked about the drill, Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) said on the sidelines of a legislative floor session on Friday that it was part of military training aimed at beefing up the country's defense capabilities.
The drill was intended to ensure military preparedness for the transportation of troops and materials by helicopter in similar drills in the future, Feng said.
A S-70C helicopter. Photo courtesy of the Military News Agency
It was the first time helicopters have landed on the plaza in front of the MND's main building since the ministry relocated to Dazhi in late 2014, local newspaper Apply Daily reported, citing an unnamed source.
The MND headquarters is believed to be linked to the Hengshan Command Center, a facility nestled deep under the mountains surrounding Taipei which serves as the military's main command and control center in the case of an emergency.
Local media described Friday's drill as simulating the removal of the president from the presidential office to a secure location in the event of a national emergency, but the report was not officially confirmed.
(By Claudia Liu, Chen Chun-hua and Elaine Hou)