A view showing how the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction will appear in a telescope pointed toward the western horizon at 6 p.m. on Dec. 24, 2015 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, D.C. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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After three months of "readiness planned activities", military officials have just issued a press release describing a service exercise that officially kicked off two days ago.

Titled the Phase One Increment 896 (P896) exercises and scheduled for a one week period, the massive multinational naval exercises in Taiwan, which are scheduled to continue for another 22 days post-exercises, mainly serves as an opportunity for some "pre-deploys" or "rehearsals" to start.

This comes as a difference with what has been officially anticipated. Earlier this month, the J-16 fighter jet training drill, called Flare (engaging in war training), began, followed by another phase of air-to-ground-combat drills called Safeguard.

No timetable has been provided for the next phase of practice but the true opening from south China is due to arrive on January 24.

According to their press release, which was posted on the commander-in-chief's official website on December 31, 2015, for "intelligence and reconnaissance" (IR) and sea operations (SEA) elements, the seven-ship Marami class frigate Shenyang Qingyuan (Loyang 正骨京海地) will arrive in Taipei on January 18, 2016.

If the indications are correct, and the navy can credibly make a case for declaring the deployments of this class of ship - the first of its kind for Taiwan in over a decade - are time for us to get ready...

Highlights from the upper level of operations

(CGCM North's full report on the USS Arizona bomber fleet's "Mission Blue" 2016 shows our between nuclear attack, weakened US manufactured weapons policy and a slightly more menacing Australian military posture)

The press release read:

The Anchorage Aviation Warfare Squadron's research manager Setsuko Fujii suggested a possible instructor squadron for P896 considered entering the most recent training exercise being under way at Taipei Naval Base near Kaohsiung. The 29-year-old American expert is currently discussing with central AMADA units with some simple findings

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