ANDAMAN SEA —
The U.S. Navy and Royal Thai Navy began exercise Guardian Sea here yesterday.
The five-day antisubmarine and maritime domain awareness exercise will involve cooperative evolutions designed to enhance mutual capabilities in antisubmarine warfare while also improving information sharing between the two navies, officials said.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey, a Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine and a P-8 Poseidon aircraft will be participating from the U.S. Navy. Participating Thai assets include helicopter carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet, Khamronsin-class corvette HTMS Long Lom, Naresuan-class frigates HTMS Taksin and HTMS Naresuan, and an S-70B Seahawk helicopter.
‘Sophisticated, Robust Exercise’
“Guardian Sea is an increasingly sophisticated and robust exercise that enables the U.S. Navy and Royal Thai Navy to continue working closely together and learning from each other,” said Navy Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7. “Each year, as allies, our two nations are becoming increasingly capable in mutually conducting antisubmarine warfare that ensures security and stability in the maritime domain.”
The two navies will conduct subject matter expert exchanges in every aspect of antisubmarine warfare focusing on tracking submarines in a variety of conditions and concludes with evolutions designed to incorporate learned techniques shared throughout Guardian Sea.
“The Royal Thai Navy and U.S. Navy continue to demonstrate a strong relationship in every aspect of maritime operations,” Royal Thai Navy Capt Anupong Taprasob said. “We are fully committed to further strengthening this partnership well into the future with even greater and more complex naval tactic as well as maritime security exercises each year.”
The U.S. Navy and the Royal Thai Navy conduct numerous annual engagements, including the bilateral and multilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, which began in 1995, Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training, and Cobra Gold, the Indo-Pacific region’s largest multinational exercise.
“The P-8 Poseidon brings an unmatched maritime surveillance capability to a wide spectrum of operations, including antisubmarine warfare,” said Navy Cmdr Bryan Hager, commanding officer of Patrol Squadron 4. “We will be working side by side with our Royal Thai Navy counterparts through each mission and look forward to gaining and sharing knowledge.”