Monday, October 31, 2005

Kidds Depart America for Taiwan

Two Kidd-class destroyers have departed the United States heading for Taiwan. Senior Navy officers report that the ships are on a war footing.

This is not a crisis, but rather a hand-over of the destroyers, which have been renamed the Keelung and Suao for service in the ROC Navy. The war footing is intended to train the Taiwanese crews in the use of their new vessel during the long journey from South Carolina.

The Taiwanese crews are wearing civilian clothes and flying an American flag until they reach the island of Guam. There they will don their ROCN uniforms and begin flying the flag of Taiwan.

These two destroyers are the first two in the package, with two more following close behind. The ships will improve ROC anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities and air-defense capabilities.

The Taipei Times and China Post both have articles on the destroyers.