Naval Air: Rehearsal for the Defense of Taiwan


April 17, 2007: For the second year in a row, the United States is holding large scale naval exercises in the Pacific, off Guam. If you scrunch up your eyes, rotate the map a tad, and "constructively" assume there's a lot of land in the armpit formed by the arc of the Marianas . . . you get a "land mass" that looks curiously like Taiwan . . . which is a place that arguably could use a "Valiant Shield."

The exercises involve three U.S. carrier task forces (28 ships, 280 aircraft) and over 22,000 military personnel. Contingents from the United States Coast Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps are also involved. "Valiant Shield" is simply a new name for the annual naval exercises the United States has been holding for decades. But for the last two years, the "Valiant Shield" have been much larger than in the past. In fact, last years was the largest naval exercises since the 1960s. Such a large exercise would be of a similar scale to any attempt to help Taiwan defend against a Chinese invasion.

The U.S. Pacific fleet has 190 ships, 1,400 aircraft and 220,000 personnel (16 percent of them civilians.)


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