Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Hualien Air Force Base "Open House"

Taiwan's Hualien Air Force Base, conducted an Open House this past Saturday, 23 August.
Patch purchased on-base during Open House walk about
My friend Gene keeps an eye open for announcements of up-coming military base's, gate openings, and sends correspondence to the Taiwan Military HQ asking for permission for our small group of Ex-Pats to visit every Open House that is scheduled.  

He wrote to the Ministry of National Defense in Taipei, requesting a number of former U.S. Military personnel residing in Taiwan be granted access to attend the Hsinchu Open House. 

Entry into the Taiwan Military Facilities is strictly controlled for foreigners.

Gene's request was approved and we arrived quite early at the gate anticipating possible mix-ups that might have occurred in paperwork authorizing our entry being at the gates.

We showed the gate guard our passports and after checking, we were quickly waved inside.

The road inside the base from our entry gate took us a long distance around the base.  All along the road, there were military personnel directing us to our eventual car parking area.

I must congratulate the Base Commander and his personnel of Hualien AFB for being "on top" of the influx of thousands of people who visited Saturday.

There were large tour buses transporting many visitors from off-base parking areas to the base, and later, transporting them back to their cars as the left the base.

It was a  huge job to put everything together, and Hualien AFB came through!

Congratulations Hualien AFB, Job Well Done!  

Hualien AFB Main Gate courtesy of Google Earth.
 This file photo from Google Earth was taken on a cloudy and rainy day.

Saturday,  the sky was blue with billowy clouds and it was hot and humid.
Don't forget, click or double click on each photo to fill your screen with a large view of these Hualien Open House photos.
View after exiting our car.

Look at the beautiful mountains off in the distance,

 Hualien AFB Military Museum Building

We had arrived a bit early on base, so we walked over to the Museum.

Gene had visited this Museum in the past, and knew that it contained a statue of Major General Claire Chennault, who commanded the Flying Tigers during World War II.  His statue once stood on the grounds of the Taipei New Park.  It was removed from the park sometime after the 828 Incident. I wanted to see it and get some photos.

The Museum was closed on Saturday, so no photos of General Chennault's statue...

A small displace of old aircraft sit across the street from the museum.

We walked back down the street toward the flight line.

Notice all the effort Hualien AFB put into the Open House along the street to ensure the safety of their visitors. We parked off to the left about half block.

One of the Hualien base water tower.
Interestingly this one has not been painted with any camouflage, not like the water tower in the old US area at Tainan AB.

This booth was selling some hats with US Military insignia patches.

 There were many booths selling souvenirs, lots of aircraft replicas, food and cold drinks.

Interesting, I'd never seen a Taiwan Blood Chit.

We walked out to the flight-line area.

The beauty of this area just overwhelmed me.

 Clear clean air.  Green foliage on the mountains pumping out clean air.

This photo just off the right from above photo.
In the background, the large white/grey buildings across the grass in the distance, Hualien Civilian Airport.

A couple of men wearing black uniforms with their working service dogs.

Gene's in this photo, he's just concluded telling a joke and the folks are laughing.
He's standing behind the man wearing the black T-shit, center of photo.  Hard to see him.

Lot's of the military men and women standing by their equipment areas were at Parade Rest, so Gene tried to ask questions, so that they could come to at-ease and talk.

Trying to help some of the folks get through the day.

It must have been 100 ℉ or more out on the flight line, and the humidity was also high, making for a sweat bath.

I consumed two large bottles of water while as we walked around the area.

Here are a collage of photos that don't need explanation.

C-130 H Model

 Flight formation just above the clouds

Honor Guard and Band marching left to right.

The pilots that fly this aircraft, put on a long acrobatic flying demonstration.

Here's the training aircraft for Taiwan pilots.

The Flying Tigers are airborne - their demonstration will begin shortly,

The Helmet.....

Into the Sun!

After the Thunder Tigers completed their demonstration, they landed and parked along the taxiway.  You can see their tails sticking-up over the people ahead.
They performed for about 30 minutes - Excellent!

Many people headed for the open hanger to escape the sun.

The red and white tents contained recruiting information for all branches of the Taiwan Military.
My friend Gene can be seen here on the right.

There was a breeze at times.

I think this was the VIP arrival and departure area, notice the indistinct black buses,

Looks like every cell company has added extra towers for the Open House.

Just beyond the cell towers in the Red Cross flag, assume it's medical staff.

On the way.. looking back at the crowd.

Recently, all missiles in the Taiwan Military were transferred to the Air Force.

Closing with a early morning photo of beautiful Hualien Air Force Base.

Want to remind anyone interesting in attending the Open House
at Hsinchu Air Force Base on 25 November 2017, should write to us.

We'll get back to you.