The US-Taiwan military training exchange is expecting an unprecedented expansion next year, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council Rupert Hammond-Chambers revealed this week.

Hammond-Chambers said the military cooperation would include army and naval training programs, a substantial expansion over the current F-16 fighter pilot training program.

“I’m talking about with the US Navy, I’m talking about with the US Army, and I’m also talking interoperability. And that’s all going to roll out,” Focus Taiwan quoted him as saying, adding that the US administration is on board with the move.

Example of Ukraine

Hammond-Chambers gave the example of US-NATO training for the Ukrainian military to demonstrate the impact of training on the battlefield.

“That’s obviously had a significant impact on how the Ukrainian forces have performed but also the ability, for the two sides, to communicate,” he said.

He said the training expansion would likely begin next year following the passage of funding by Congress.

“And that’s going to happen. We’re not quite sure how it’s going to look. But as time progresses, we’re going to see far more communication and training between the two sides. And that’s a great development.”

$6.5 Billion Taiwan Military Aid

Meanwhile, last month, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022.  

The bill includes $6.5 billion in military aid over five years for Taiwan, including a  “comprehensive training program” between the US and Taiwanese militaries and sanctions against Beijing if it uses force to attempt to seize the territory.

“We saw that in Ukraine, my Ukraine Freedom Support Act that I passed back several years ago, which was a significant part of training the Ukrainians, has paid off now as they try to fight for their freedom,” committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who sponsored the bill with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), told Military.com. 

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“And so I think that’s a very important part. History has shown us that a domestic force well-trained and committed to fight for their country can make all the difference.”

The Senate is scheduled to debate the bill this month. It needs to be cleared by both the Senate and the House to become law.