One of three Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) airbases located on the Taiwan east coast, Hualien Airbase, along with the neighbouring Jiashan Airbase, is located in the touristy city of Hualien. Both airbases are linked by a 2.4 kilometer taxiway; Jiashan was built into a hollowed-out mountain and serves as a sanctuary for fighter aircraft based on the western coast should conflict erupt with Mainland China.
Hualien Airbase is home to the 401st TFW (Tactical Fighter Wing). The wing is one of two that operates the F-16A/B, which equip four Hualien-based squadrons — the 17th TFG (Tactical Fighter Group), 26th TFG, 27th TFG as well as the 12th TRS (Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron). The latter is a hybrid squadron operating RF-16s that carry the "Phoenix Eye" reconnaissance pod and a handful of RF-5E and F-5Fs. Aircraft of the 401st TFW are symbolically marked on the tail with the indigenous Amis Tribe (阿美族)'s solar deity "Malataw".
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