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Taiwan to commission second F-16 wing 16 January

January 9, 2002 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The ROC [Republic of China] Air Force will commission its second wing of US-made F-16 jet fighters into service 16 January, military spokesman Huang Suey-sheng said Tuesday [8 January].
To help the general public better understand the Air Force's weaponry modernization and manpower training achievements, Huang said a grand commissioning ceremony will be held at the Hualien Air Base in eastern Taiwan for the F-16 wing, to be known as No 401 Wing.

"The ceremony will include fly-pasts and an exhibition of F-16 equipment and weaponry systems," Huang explained at a routine news conference held at the Ministry of National Defence.

He added that more than 300 guests, including senior government officials, legislators, journalists and elite members in various fields in the Hualien area, have been invited to the ceremony.

Speaking on the same occasion, Chang Nien-hua, deputy director of the Operation Administration under the Air Force General Headquarters (AFGH), said that the commissioning will mark a significant step forward in the upgrading of the ROC Air Force's combat capability.

"It will be the last wing of the ROC Air Force's second- generation warplanes to be commissioned into service," Chang said, adding that the AFGH has coordinated with the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Hualien Airport to prevent the planned F-16 fly pasts from affecting commercial flight services on that day.

The Republic of China struck a deal with the United States in 1992 for the purchase of 150 F-16s as part of its military modernization plan. To upgrade its air force, the ROC has also purchased 60 French-made Mirage 2000-5 jet fighters and 130 locally developed Indigenous Defence Fighters, all of which have been put into active service.