Navy - Overview
The Navy's primary mission is to defend the island against a Chinese blockade and to protect Taiwan's sea lines of communication (SLOCs). The ROC Navy is charged with maintaining control and surveillance of the waters that surround Taiwan on all sides. The Navy also takes part in joint operations with the Army and Air Force. Including some 30,000 marines, the ROC Navy forces number around 68,000 officers and men.
As a result of the ching shih reforms, the Taiwan Navy (TN) has shrunk from approximately 55,000 to 45,000 personnel, while preserving its basic organizational structure, fleet size, and mission focus on counter-blockade/defense of sea lines of communication. The TN is organizationally well-run, its equipment generally well-maintained, and its leadership apparently aware of its own strengths, weaknesses, and the nature of the threat it faces. The TN has benefited from several important hardware acquisitions from abroad; as a result, its fleet contains a number of relatively new platforms with enhanced combat potential. Despite these improvements, Navy operations are not well-integrated with those of either the army or air force, and joint training is infrequent and rudimentary. Perhaps a more significant shortcoming is the Navy's inability to conduct multiple missions simultaneously. Logistical support is carried out by one fleet of auxiliary craft while another fleet of auxiliary craft is assigned to disaster relief duties. The Navy's coastal SAM batteries employ Hsiung-feng missiles which resemble US Harpoon missiles.
The Chinese Naval Academy (CNA) offers cadets courses similar to those in civilian colleges of science and engineering. During a four-year training period, they take special military courses, including navigation, marine engineering, equipment maintenance, and serve an apprenticeship aboard ship. Just prior to graduation, CNA cadets sail abroad in an armada dubbed the "Fleet of Friendship" for two months of hands-on training. In recent years, the "Fleet of Friendship" has sailed as far as the Middle East and South Africa. During the long voyage, future naval officers are given a chance to practice their combat skills and tactics and to enrich their navigational experience.
Each Navy logistics command center has the capacity to provide depot maintenance for the new generation warships and other type of military vessels. The Marine Corps factory has the capability to provide depot maintenance for LVT landing vessel. 20 private satellite factories are contracted to produce parts and components for military vessels.
Looking back at the founding of the navy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), one can see that the navy has striven to improve and expand its forces even during the hardest of times. The navy upholds the principles of loyalty and justice, defends Taiwan's maritime territories and protects the nation and people with the utmost diligence and courage.
After the establishment of the ROC, the ROC Navy incorporated the dilapidated ships remaining from the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 into its fleet and dedicated itself to building up its forces. Unfortunately, during the eight-year War of Resistance against Japan (1937-1945), the hard earned gains from the sacrifices and contributions of the navy were completely consumed. To restore the naval forces, the government started sending officers and servicemen to the United Kingdom and the United States during the post-war era for training, marking the advent of the modernization for ROC Navy. While Communist Party gradually took over mainland during civil war, our navy fleet was acting as ferry to relocate KMT government to Taiwan and secure the island by patrolling the littoral of central and, southern China, and the South China Sea.
After the ROC government relocated to Taiwan, series of battles erupted as China attempted to invade the offshore islands. As a result, the Taiwan Strait was plagued by tension and instability. In its bid to consolidate the nation's defenses and assume control of the sea, the navy shouldered a great responsibility to safeguard security across the Taiwan Strait. It not only successfully completed the withdrawal of troops from Dachen Island and Nanji Island, but also defeated outnumber enemy fore in battle on September 2, 1958 In these events, the navy lived up to its tradition and spirit of sacrificing and fighting for their nation and fellow countrymen.
The Taiwan Strait is an important shield in the defense of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Maintaining and developing the sea power remain a key factor in winning cross-strait conflicts and in guaranteeing the future prosperity of the nation. Therefore, by building up the navy and developing the sea power, Taiwan can secure its sovereignty, overcome its enemy forces, and win military conflicts in the buildup forms the foundation of national security and that the navy remains as frontline for defending Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. While upholding the values of loyalty and courage, the navy continues to transmit its mission to future generations and modernize its fleet.
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