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Taiwanese and US marines conducting joint training on Guam

Taiwanese Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng has confirmed local media reports that a group of Taiwanese marines have been sent to the US territory of Guam to train with the US Marine Corps (USMC) as part of a Taiwan-US defence co-operation and exchange

Chiu was quoted by Taiwan's state-owned Central News Agency (CNA) as saying on 2 November that the programme is one of a number of bilateral exchanges between Taipei and Washington that have been “well established for many years”.

No further details were provided but the remarks came after local news outlet Apple Daily reported that about 40 personnel from the Republic of China (RoC) Marine Corps' 99th Brigade were undergoing a one-month-long training at the US military base on Guam as part of joint Taiwan-US amphibious landing exercises called ‘Lu Hou'.

The outlet reported that the exercise series, which was discontinued after the United States broke off formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979, is believed to have resumed after US President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.

As part of the ongoing exercise the Taiwanese marines will also undergo joint operations training with the USMC, it added.

The RoC Marine Corps is organised into two brigades, the 66th and 99th, and an air-defence security group. These units are supported by one amphibious vehicle group and one logistics element. According to Janes World Navies the corps acts as a rapid response and anti‐decapitation reaction force, with one brigade stationed in the south and one in the north.

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