Of­fi­cers probed af­ter celeb posts Apache pho­tos on Face­book

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

Pros­e­cu­tors yes­ter­day started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into why mil­i­tary of­fi­cers let Tai­wanese celebrity Janet Lee ( ) en­ter the cock­pit of an AH-64E Apache he­li­copter, with Lee af­ter­wards post­ing the pho­tos on her Face­book page and re­ceiv­ing cov­er­age from lo­cal me­dia.

Lao Nai-cheng ( ), the seed in­struc­tor for AH-64E Apache and chief In­for­ma­tion Se­cu­rity Of­fi­cer, failed to up­hold proper mil­i­tary con­duct, in­clud­ing al­low­ing Lee to post pho­tos of her­self sit­ting in the AH-64E Apache and wear­ing the new­est in­ter­ac­tive hel­met, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense (MND, ).

Lao has been pe­nal­ized with three rep­ri­mands for break­ing vis­it­ing and na­tional de­fense se­cu­rity reg­u­la­tions, MND said.

MND Army Com­mand Head­quar­ters of­fi­cials said that Lee and her son were brought onto the Long­tan Base in Taoyuan by Lao on March 29.

The army has strict reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing those who wish to view the state-of-the-art Apaches, in­clud­ing pro­hibit­ing the me­dia from record­ing or tak­ing pho­tos of an Apache cabin to avoid iden­ti­fy­ing crit­i­cal equip­ment. Mil­i­tary of­fi­cials are also re­quired to ac­com­pany vis­i­tors at all times as the cock­pit equip­ment is sen­si­tive.

Specif­i­cally used in tan­dem with the AH-64E Apache, the in­te­grated hel­met and dis­play sight sys­tem that Lee can be seen wear­ing is priced at NT$2 mil­lion and pro­vides the crew­man in the front seat with a vis­ually cou­pled in­ter­face be­tween the avi­a­tor and air­craft, en­abling weapons aim­ing and flight func­tions at the same time.

The hel­met is also equipped with a ther­mo­graphic cam­era sen­sor that de­creases the avi­a­tor’s re­liance on the cock­pit panel.

Ne­ti­zens con­demned Lee’s ac­tions, say­ing that she was guilty of breaching mil­i­tary pro­to­col by sit­ting in the cock­pit, wear­ing the hel­met and post­ing the pic­tures on­line.

Lee re­sponded to the crit­i­cism by say­ing that a friend had taken her and her son on a tour of the mil­i­tary base and there were other MND of­fi­cials on site at the time.

In a video posted later yes­ter­day, Lee said that she had not thought out her ac­tions and will re-eval­u­ate them. She claims she be­lieved tour­ing an Apache was legal, and wanted to take ad­van­tage of this op­por­tu­nity to ed­u­cate her son about the mil­i­tary with her hus­band

Penal­ties Due: MND

MND spokesman Lo Shao-he ( ) said the army of­fi­cials in ques­tion had failed to han­dle Lee’s visi­ta­tion to the mil­i­tary grounds in ac­cor­dance with reg­u­la­tions and that au­thor­i­ties will in­ves­ti­gate and re­view the mat­ter.

Mil­i­tary of­fi­cials said cit­i­zens wish­ing to en­ter grounds with army air­craft or other equip­ment should hand ap­pli­ca­tions to the con­cern­ing in­sti­tu­tions or gain ap­proval from the base com­man­der.

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