We’re now on Day 2 of the live-fire Han Kuang war games. Military police drilled in Taipei early this morning, fighting off a mock attack on the Presidential Office. Troops were also stationed at the mouth of the TamsuiRiver, to prevent the enemy from advancing into the capital. Over in Hualien County, fighter jets responded to a simulated air attack by the PLA.

It’s the crack of dawn, and an alert comes in, signaling an enemy incursion. A Mirage 2000 roars across the sky to intercept the invaders, breaking the tranquility of daybreak.

With fighter jets on a hot pursuit, the ground troops start to mobilize. After reequipping, the tank battalion rolls out under cover of darkness. M60A3 tanks and CM21 armored vehicles, as well as light and medium tactical vehicles, all maneuver away from the home base.

As they leave, the troops scan their surroundings for threats. Once a path is secured, the convoy moves forward to a tactical position. At the destination, the vehicles are draped with camouflage netting to conceal them from enemy bombardment.

Turning to Taipei. Seizing the hours before dawn, Military Police Command deployed multiple “Clouded Leopard” armored vehicles to major city roads, including Zhongshan North Road and Zhongxiao West Road.

This was a simulation of PLA special operations that could be launched before a full-on invasion. These might be targeted attacks on the city’s political and financial centers, as well as an assassination of the president. In Tuesday’s exercise, military police secured the Presidential Office and defended Taipei’s political and financial centers.

With the Presidential Office heavily fortified, troops along Guandu held the front line.

Mortar carriers and armored vehicles stood guard at the mouth of Tamsui River to stop PLA troops from moving upstream and reaching the Presidential Office.

Each year, one war games highlight is takeoff and landing exercises. This year’s will open in Pingtung on Wednesday. The day before, preparations were already underway.

To create the Jiadong wartime runway, traffic restrictions were imposed on 4 kilometers of a highway in Pingtung starting Tuesday morning.

One military enthusiast staked out a spot early, with the help of a crane truck parked on a pineapple field. He says he wants to snap close-ups of the moments of liftoff and landing.

The military plans to drill on five emergency runways around the island. All systems are go for takeoff on Wednesday.