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Thai, US Navy’s Conduct Joint Anti-Submarine Exercise in Andaman Sea

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ANDAMAN SEA – The Thai Navy and United States Navy have jointly conducted the Guardian Sea 2019 naval exercise for naval ships and anti-submarine aircraft.

Rear Admiral Kamchorn Charoenkiat, the commander of the First Frigate of the Naval Fleet, presided over the Guardian Sea 2019 naval exercise involving the Thai and United States navies, on board the frigate HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej in Phuket.

The joint naval exercise called for coordinated missions between naval ships and anti-submarine aircraft.

It called on the skills of navy officers in mission and planning exercises in the search, detection and containment of hostile submarines.

The Guardian Sea naval exercise has been conducted yearly since 2012 and adapted to suit changing scenarios.

The Guardian Sea exercises also saw the Royal Thai Navy contingent fire a C-802A anti-ship missile as part of the drills.

A joint directorate for the naval exercise was set up by the Thai Navy and United States Navy to command, control and communicate with the exercising units deployed in the Andaman Sea where the depth is suitable for a submarine to hide from detection by surface ships and anti-submarine aircraft.

Navy personnel learnt from the state-of-the-art procedures and missions coordination between ships, and that between ships and aircraft. Opportunities for such naval exercises with the presence of real submarines have been rare, thus creating enormous interest in the Thai Navy, which will be well-prepared for future coordinated missions with submarines deployed in Thailand.

Guardian Sea builds upon other engagements and exercises with Thailand to include Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), now in it’s 25th iteration; Pacific Partnership, the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission; Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) involving more than a dozen partner nations; and Cobra Gold, Indo-Pacific’s largest multinational exercise.

These engagements serve to enhance information sharing and coordination, build mutual warfighting capability and support long-term regional cooperation.

By Tewit Kemtong