Taipei, Interior Minister Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) on Monday inspected the National Airborne Service Corps (NASC) base in Kaohsiung after it received a final delivery of six Black Hawk helicopters for use in rescue missions last week.
During the inspection tour, Hsu thanked the NASC under the interior ministry, which is in charge of disaster relief, search and rescue, and patrol missions, for its hard work.
He said the six Black Hawk choppers are expected to boost the corps’ rescue capability, especially in the high mountains.
According to Hsu, Taiwan has 269 mountains over 3,000 meters and only Black Hawk helicopters can carry out mission at such altitudes.
The new choppers arrived in the southern city of Kaohsiung on Oct. 7 before being transferred to the NSAC’s new hanger in the city on Oct. 8.
They are part of a batch of 60 Black Hawk helicopters Taiwan bought from the U.S. in 2010 at a cost of NT$84.67 billion (US$2.82 billion).
Thirty of the 60 choppers were designated for the Army, 15 for the NASC and 15 for the Air Force Rescue Group.
The NASC has previously taken delivery of nine which are stationed at NASC bases in Taichung, Hualien and Taitung.
All 15 helicopters under the NASC have been equipped with thermal imaging to detect body heat, which makes rescue work a lot quicker, according to the NASC.
The NASC said it will conduct test flights of the six Black Hawks before they are officially approved to engage in rescue missions.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel