Sunday, October 4, 2009

Taiwan Updates Spec Ops Units



Taiwan Updates Spec Ops Units

By Wendell Minnick

TAIPEI — Taiwan has upgraded and streamlined its special forces capabilities over the last two decades.

In the 1980s, Taiwan integrated the 61st and 71st Airborne Brigades into the 862 Special Warfare Brigade; in the 1990s, it placed the 862, along with the 601, 602 and 603 Aviation Brigades, under a single com­mand: the Aviation and Special Forces Command (ASFC).

It also created a Delta Force-like unit called the Airborne Special Services Com­pany, trained in counter-terrorism and hostage rescue.

Several other special operations units re­main outside the ASFC, including the Army’s 101st Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion — the “Army Frogmen” — the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Reconnais­sance Patrol and Special Services Compa­ny, the Military Police Special Services Company, the Coast Guard Special Ser­vices Company and the civilian Wei-an Po­lice Special Services Commando Unit.

The Army also created new sniper units for each of its companies. Some of Tai­wan’s special operations units have re­ceived training in the United States, in­cluding SEAL and Ranger training. There has been talk Taiwan may turn to Black­water for some training.