New intensified reservist training program set to launch

03/02/2022 01:20 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, March 2 (CNA) Taiwan's military on Wednesday unveiled details of its new reservist training regimen to be launched this Saturday that will provide more intensive periods of training in a bid to improve the combat readiness of reserve forces.

Under the new program, reservists will undergo two weeks of training rather than the current five to seven days, according to Yu Wen-cheng (俞文鎮) of the Ministry of National Defense's (MND) All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency.

During the two-week period, a reservist will not have any days off and will spend more time on required combat training, such as shooting pistols, rifles, and machine guns, based on their specialties, to maintain basic combat skills, Yu said.

Reservists will also train for 10 hours a day, including two at night, and will also undergo outdoor camping training and be required to perform a 10-kilometer loaded march with full gear, Yu said.

Reservists will only be allowed to use their mobiles phone twice a day, from 7 to 8 p.m. and from 9 to 10 p.m., during the two weeks, he said.

Though the training periods for reservists will be longer and more intense under the new guidelines, they will not result in much more reservist training over time compared to current practices.

At present, reservists are asked to report for training a maximum of four times in the eight years after they are discharged from active duty, but under the new rules, they will receive training only twice in those eight years.

The new regimen will be tested for the first three quarters of 2022 on around 15,000 reservists at 24 battalions and one company around Taiwan, and will begin Saturday, according to Yu.

The military will conduct a review of the new program in the fourth quarter this year to see if it is generating the desired results before it decides whether to fully commit to the program, he said.

In the meantime, another 97,000 reservists will still be trained under the existing five to seven day program, he said.

The new reservist training program was devised after the military said in 2020 that it wanted to ensure that Taiwan's reserve force can more reliably back up regular forces in protecting the country amid increased Chinese military maneuvers around Taiwan.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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