Taiwan is gearing up to dispatch more than 114 soldiers to the United States next year, aiming to undergo comprehensive training on high-mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) and M1A2T Abrams tanks.
The Taiwan News has reported that the country expected to receive its first M1A2T Abrams tanks and HIMARS rocket launchers in 2024. In preparation for the operational and maintenance demands of these combat vehicles, the military plans to initiate training for its personnel in the U.S. starting in January.
According to the report, these trained soldiers will subsequently serve as instructors for both weapons systems, overseeing training operations upon their return.
As per the “2024 Ministry of National Defense Budget,” the agreed-upon 108 M1A2T tanks from the U.S., outlined in a 2019 agreement, are slated for shipment to Taiwan beginning next year. The initial batch of 38 tanks is anticipated in 2024, followed by 42 more in 2025, and the remaining 28 in 2026.
Similarly, the U.S. authorized the sale of 11 HIMARS systems to Taiwan in 2020, with an additional agreement for Taiwan to procure 18 more units. Initial deliveries of the 11 HIMARS systems are scheduled to commence next year, continuing until 2025. The additional 18 HIMARS systems are earmarked for delivery in 2026.
Outlined in next year’s defense budget, plans include dispatching 84 officers and enlisted troops to the U.S. in January specifically for M1A2T tank training, which is expected to conclude by the year’s end.
Subsequently, after February, another group of 30 officers and enlisted troops will head to the U.S. for HIMARS multiple rocket launcher system training, aiming to conclude instruction by October of the same year.
Upon completion of their training and return to Taiwan, these soldiers will assume instructional roles for both weapons systems, responsible for developing guidelines, lesson plans, and conducting educational and training activities.