It was fortunate that Typhoon Chan-hom swept across Northern Taiwan without causing too much damage. However, the government’s precaution against the routine tropical hurricane raised an issue of disrespect of professionalism.
In his letter to the editor in today’s United Daily, a retired army general surnamed Wu said it was very inappropriate to deploy Army’s Clouded Leopard infantry fighting vehicle and Marine’s AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicle as rescue instruments. According to General Wu, these two types of vehicle were of high value military equipment specially prepared for anti-amphibious warfare. They should not be used on typhoon days for delivering food and water. He considered such an act a waste of national resources and disrespect for professionalism.
Wu said there were various amphibious vehicles with civilian specs suitable for rescue operations and army troops should give a hand in times of natural disasters, yet it was not right to abuse valuable military equipment good only for main battles.
He further pointed out that President Ma’s decision to transfer fifteen Army's Black Hawk helicopters to Ministry of the Interior’s National Airborne Service Corps was also one that was made without professional evaluations. General Wu said that the cost to convert the chopper’s military specs into civilian versions was beyond imagination.
Wu urged the leader of this country to be serious about this issue. He said, and I agreed with him, what people need when there is natural disaster, is timely rescue backed by right equipment, not a display of military hardware.