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DEFENSE/Army to update bayonet training with modern combat skills

06/13/2024 04:42 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Taiwan's Army is in the process of updating its traditional bayonet training that has been in place for decades with a program focusing on hand-to-hand combat, so Taiwanese soldiers will have more practical skills critical for survival on the battlefield, a senior military official said Thursday.

Ministry of National Defense (MND) Major General Liu Sheen-mo (劉慎謨), who is in charge of training, said military instructors at the Army Infantry Training Command's Sports Science Center are currently studying the United States military's hand-to-hand closed-quarters combat program.

They will use it as a base when updating Taiwan's decades-old bayonet program.

The ultimate goal is to come up with a new training program that will enable a soldier to use hand-held weapons and/or knives to take down a rival in a physical confrontation, which will significantly increase the soldier's chance of survival, Liu told reporters during an MND press briefing.

Liu made the comments when asked to comment on the Army's replacement for the military's traditional bayonet training that had been in place since 1965. The new defense chief pledged last week that it would be updated.

Speaking during a Legislative session on June 6, Wellington Koo (顧立雄) explained that traditional bayonet training is ceremonial and more of a formality with very little practical use in close combat.

The decision to scrap the outdated program was made to allow troops to focus more on practical training sessions and enhance their defense capabilities, Koo said.

The traditional program was originally established in 1965 by combining American and Japanese styles of bayonet charge practices. Over the years, however, experts have criticized its practical use in close combat on the battlefield.

Koo, Taiwan's first civilian defense chief in a decade, also announced on June 6 that other decades-old traditions in the armed forces would be scrapped. This included goose-stepping and overseas travel restrictions for military personnel.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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