R.O.C Military Academy celebrates anniversary with military flybys

2019/06/16 15:30:06 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
R.O.C Military Academy celebrates anniversary with military flybys

Taipei, June 16 (CNA) The Republic of China's top school for cultivating military talent, the R.O.C. Military Academy, organized military aircraft flybys and a parade of ground troops to celebrate the 95th anniversary of its founding on Sunday.

The celebration, held at the academy's Kaohsiung base and presided over by Defense Minister Yen De-fa (嚴德發), opened with flybys of Army helicopters, including OH-58D scout helicopters, AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, AH-64E Apache helicopters and UH-60M Black Hawk choppers.

Navy CH-47SD and S-70C helicopters and the Air Force's Thunder Tiger Aerobatics Team (雷虎小組) with its AT-3 jet trainers also took part in the maneuver to say happy birthday to the academy.

On the ground, a parade featured cadets from the Army, Air Force and Navy academies and National Defense University, as well as soldiers from the Army's 333 Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

According to the Ministry of National Defense, the Army's 333 Mechanized Infantry Brigade was chosen for the parade because its predecessor was one of the founding troops of Whampoa Military Academy (黃埔軍校), which came before the R.O.C. Military Academy.

The Whampoa Military Academy was established by the Kuomintang (KMT) government in China's Guangzhou Province on June 6, 1924 to cultivate modern military talent for the country when the R.O.C. was still based in China.

The school relocated to Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan in 1949 and was renamed the R.O.C. Military Academy after the R.O.C. forces and KMT government relocated to Taiwan following the Chinese Civil War.

Sunday's ceremony in Kaohsiung was joined by Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the opposition KMT, one of the front-runners for the KMT's nomination in the 2020 presidential race.

A graduate of the academy himself, Han told reporters that he was excited to be invited to join the event both as a graduate and as the head of the host city.

Meanwhile, in Taipei, three other KMT presidential hopefuls -- former Taipei County Magistrate Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), and National Taiwan University political science professor Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) -- as well as KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), joined a banquet organized by academy alumni to celebrate the anniversary.

Former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) is the only one of the five KMT primary contenders who did not participate in any of Sunday's anniversary activities.

Servicepersons and veterans have long been considered hardcore supporters of the KMT due to the party's long-term connection with the country's military.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who will run for re-election in 2020, also did not participate in this year's anniversary celebrations. She presided over the academy's 92nd anniversary ceremony in 2016.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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