ROC Army de­nies re­ports of Is­rael’s in­ter­est in Apache pi­lot

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s Army on Satur­day de­nied lo­cal media re­ports that Is­rael is in­ter­ested in re­cruit­ing a Tai­wanese Army pi­lot who was dis­ci­plined af­ter he breached mil­i­tary se­cu­rity by giv­ing civil­ians ac­cess to Tai­wan’s AH-64E Apache at­tack he­li­copters ear­lier this year.

The Army said it was not aware of such a de­vel­op­ment and it dis­missed the re­ports as un­grounded ru­mors.

The lo­cal media re­ported Satur­day that Is­rael was in­ter­ested in re­cruit­ing Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng ( ) as an ad­viser, as the coun­try was plan­ning to pur­chase AH-64E Apache he­li­copters.

Lao, a qual­i­fied Apache pi­lot, was re­moved from his post as deputy head of a he­li­copter squadron in Taoyuan un­der the Army Avi­a­tion Spe­cial Forces Com­mand, af­ter he was found to have given a lo­cal TV per­son­al­ity and other civil­ians ac­cess to Tai- wan’s most ad­vanced he­li­copter, the AH-64E Apache, in March.

It was also found that Lao had worn a he­li­copter hel­met as part of a cos­tume at a pri­vate party last Oc­to­ber.

His case was re­ferred to Taoyuan pros­e­cu­tors, who de­cided af­ter months of in­ves­ti­ga­tion not to in­dict him.

Af­ter the se­cu­rity breaches came to light, Lao was given two ma­jor de­mer­its ear­lier this year by the mil­i­tary, which meant that he would be forced to re­tire within the year, an Army of­fi­cer had said at the time.

But on Satur­day, the Army said that de­ci­sion will de­pend on the re­sults of Lao’s an­nual eval­u­a­tion. There is a chance that he may be al­lowed to re­main in the mil­i­tary if he stays in line, the Army said.

Cur­rently, Lao is work­ing in the lo­gis­tics di­vi­sion of the Army Avi­a­tion Spe­cial Forces Com­mand and is do­ing a good job, ac­cord­ing to an Army of­fi­cial.

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