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Taiwan Navy squadron a day away

Children mingle with Taiwan Navy Squadron at the Art Gallery

THE nation is counting down the last day before we see the Taiwanese navy squadron led by Commander Rear Admiral Chiang Cheng-kuo, which will arrive on Friday.

This visit is the fourteenth since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1984.

The Deputy Counselor for Taiwan Embassy in Solomon Islands Mr Oliver Weng said the squadron consists of three warships named Panshi (flag ship), and two frigates, a La Fayette class Si-Ning and Perry Class Chang-Chien.

“The flagship, Panshi combat support ship, is designed and built by Taiwan with a displacement over 20,000 tons and more than 400 crews in service.

This is a brand new ship and it has just begun operation since January 2015 and this trip is its 2nd mission abroad,” Mr Weng said.

He said the Panshi is designed for supplying petroleum and ammunition during war including humanitarian operations during peacetime.

“It has a battlefield hospital with 15 beds, a dental clinic, an operation room, and advanced medical equipment, and will be open to the public for a tour on Saturday,” Mr Weng said.

The Navy Squadron in action during their recent visit to Solomon Islands

The three-day stopover in Honiara will involve the Navy squadron paying courtesy calls to Solomon Islands government officials.

The squadron will also donate medicine and medical equipment, footballs, and 12 pallets totaled 33,593 yards of textiles.

Entertainment activities include;

Friday afternoon performance of military tattoo and martial arts shows at the Lawson Tama Stadium Conduct volunteer medical service at the NRH on Saturday morning Art Gallery on Saturday afternoon martial arts show.