(Reporter Hsieh Hung-kuai of Military News Agency, Taipei, 28th) As we enter the new year of 2022, the 2nd Tactical Fighter Wing of ROCAF will put on the special painting on Mirage 2000 jet-fighter tail-numbered "2022," and similar patterns will be painted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of aircraft receipt. Such patterns should symbolize that these Mirage jet-fighters will repeatedly and enduringly perform various warfare and training missions throughout the year, while the wing shall inherit this spirit to guard over Taiwan airspace in 2022.
The 2nd Tactical Fighter Wing of ROCAF is primarily made up of Mirage jet-fighters. Geographically, Hsinchu Air Force in Hsinchu is the closest airport to mainland China on the island of Taiwan, so it has thus served as the strong-post at the first line in defending the security of airspace over the Taiwan Strait. In recent years, Air Force officers and soldiers have carried out close all-weather control for monitoring so that it can respond to various emergencies in view of the frequent intrusions of our airspace by CCP aircraft. To handle unexpected situations, the Air Force must count on Mirage 2000 jet-fighters and various other types of aircraft to protect the airspace, defend national sovereignty and the safety of our nationals, and assume the major responsibility for air defense across the Taiwan Strait.
Captain Lai Chuan-hsien, a flight officer of the 42nd Combat Team of the 2nd Tactical Fighter Wing of the Air Force, said he usually maintains a distance of more than 30 nautical miles from the target during training. Nevertheless, the distance from CCP aircraft may only be 8 to 10 nautical miles when carrying out the task to drive away these hostile aircraft in response to different situations, and such distance can be most challenging for pilots and their capabilities to adapt to emergencies.
Captain Lai also emphasized that whenever he is confronted with a CCP aircraft, he strongly feels the importance of his work as he defends the country. For him, it is not only a responsibility, but also an aspiration for himself. With the arrival of the Chinese New Year, Captain Lai looks forward to holding fast to his post in the Air Force in order to protect the country and airspace security. Doing so ensures that our nationals can sleep at ease and get together with their families safely to celebrate the Chinese New Year at ease.
Sergeant Fang Chih-hsien, who serves in the 41st Combat Team, has been in charge of aircraft maintenance operations for nearly ten years. In light of frequent intrusions from CCP aircraft, as well as the increased flight tasks, the loading of ground crews has become most tight, and sergeant Fang noted that the ground crew will assist pilots day or night to complete take-off immediately upon receiving orders, considering it their responsibility and call of duty.
Master sergeant Fang pointed out that whenever he sees the heroic appearance of fighter planes soaring in the sky and hears their engines roaring, even though the same scene has been going on for ten years, he still feels his blood surge every now and then. Master Chief Fang also hopes that the "2022" fighter aircraft he is responsible for maintaining and repairing will continue to protect and safeguard the national security and defend Taiwan airspace in the new year.