||Naval Underwater Operation Unit (UOU), evolving from the Fleet Salvage Unit, is the only body specifically responsible for underwater operation under the Ministry of National Defense (MND). The mission of this Unit is to provide diving, salvage, mine counter-measurement, explosive ordnance disposal and diving training services to all armed forces and other government agencies. Since its establishment, UOU has been involved in many high visibility maritime distress operations over the years. UOU has a definite position and plays an important role in Taiwan’s naval defensive warfare, maritime distress salvage, maritime pollution control and commercial diver training. With its professional capability and facilities, UOU has become the most capable governmental unit in diving and salvage in this country.|
To highlight its emphasis on marine affairs, the Executive Yuan established the “National Council on the Advancement of Marine Affairs” on 7 January 2004 as a decision-making forum for marine affairs on the cabinet level. The adoption of the “National Oceans Policy Guidelines” on 13 October 2004 and the formulation of the “Program for the Development Planning of Marine Affairs” accordingly by this Council have set a new demarche to march towards an Ocean Nation for the country.
Integration of government resources and cooperation among agencies are vital to the policy implementation. To implement the goals of national oceans policy and marine affairs development, government agencies should collaborate among themselves through resources integration.
The main purpose of this study is to explore the position and development of the UOU in various domains of national marine affairs while the Government is making its effort to advance national oceans policy. To this end, this study examines the differences between the UOU and its equivalent units in the U.S. Navy from four perspectives, namely, organizational status, missions, capabilities and the relationship between these units and other government agencies, analyzes the needs imposed upon the UOU by various domains of national marine affairs, and then proposes the approaches for improving UOU’s capabilities so as to fulfill the requirements of national marine affairs development.