HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha presides over ceremonies to sanctify Somdej Phra Navamindra Sasada images
HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha
performs religious ceremonies to consecrate the Somdej Phra Navamindra
On behalf of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vachiralongkorn, Her Royal
Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha presided over the ceremony of chanting holy
prayers from the scriptures and sprinkling water on the revered Somdej Phra
Navamindra Sasada as a sign of homage to His Majesty the King and to
commemorate the auspicious occasion of the 60th anniversary of His accession
to the throne.
The ceremonies organized by the Ha Thanwa (5 December) Maharaja Foundation
were held at the Ban Sukawadee Auditorium in Banglamung District on April
As last year was a year of rejoicing marking 60 years of HM the King’s
accession to the throne, the foundation undertook a task of casting a golden
image of Somdej Phra Navamindra Sasada over the period of June 5-8, 2006.
The 800 baht (weight), 60 cms high gold image was presented to HM the King
and is now placed at the temple of the Emerald Buddha.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Vachiralongkorn and Her Royal Highness
Princess Srirasmi, Royal Consort to the Crown Prince, were present at the
casting of the golden Somdej Phra Navamindra Sasada Buddha image on June 5
at the ceremonial grounds of Sanam Luang, and for the Sacred Merit Making on
September 11 at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
As 2007 is the auspicious year in which His Majesty the King will celebrate
his 80th birthday, the Ha Thanwa Maharaja Foundation cast another 9 replicas
of Somdej Phra Navamindra Sasada. Having held ceremonies to consecrate the
images they would be presented to HM the King for further presentation to 9
At the ceremony HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha gave out mementos to people who
supported the organizing of the ceremony.
Dr. Jarin Suankaew, Chairman
of Ha Thanwa Maharaja Foundation makes his report to the HRH Princess
Pattaya citizens stunned!
No connecting pipeline from Bangpakong River into Mab Prachan reservoir
At a meeting of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association, (PBTA) early
this month, members of the association, including a room full of residents
and business people of Pattaya were stunned to learn that there was still no
connecting water pipeline to bring water from the Bangpakong River to the
Mab Prachan reservoir.
Hengtrakul, former MP of Chonburi Province
The PBTA met on May 9 at Green Park Resort, chaired by Jamroon Wisawachaipan
with representatives from the Royal Irrigation Department, the Pattaya
Waterworks Authority, and East Water Co Ltd attending, where it was reported
that the project to install water pipelines from the Bangpakong River to
Nongkoh and Bangpra reservoirs had been completed.
It was also reported that a water pipeline from the Nongplalai and Dokkrai
reservoirs in Rayong Province to the Nong Kor Reservoir was also completed
and operational which meant that Nong Kor had enough reserves to support
demand for water in the Chonburi Province area.
East Water Co Ltd, which manages and operates raw water distribution
pipeline systems in the Eastern Seaboard areas, has also laid a pipeline
from the Bangpra Reservoir to the Nongklangdong Reservoir and the Naklua
Water Filtration Station.
“But that’s where it stops.” exclaimed the chairman of the PBTA. “There is
no pipeline to bring water further to the Mab Prachan Reservoir.”
Wisawachaipan, President of PBTA
He continued, “At present the Mab Prachan reservoir is connected by a
pipeline to the Chaknok, Huaykhunjit and Huaysapan reservoirs, with no
connecting pipeline, so therefore we are back to where we were and that is
our only source of water is to wait for rain, just like before.”
He urged the authorities to take a closer look at Mab Prachan Reservoir,
saying that even though reserves in the seven reservoirs of Chonburi
Province are consistent, there are no connecting pipelines from the other
reservoirs to Mab Prachan, and “this is cause for concern.”
Boonsom Yutithampinyo, of the Chonburi Royal Irrigation Department, said
that the amount of untreated water currently available for the entire
province is sufficient. The latest survey, dated May 9, showed a total
reserve of 92 million cubic meters, compared with the same date last year,
which had only 69 million cubic meters of water. In 2005, there was a sever
drought when there was only 36 million cubic meters.
“The capacity of all seven reservoirs is however 180 million cubic meters of
water, which is quite adequate” he said, “but we need better management of
our storage reserves.”
Preecha Chimkua, manager of the Water Service Department of East Water’s
Chachoengsao- Chon Buri Operations Center and Ekasit Ngampiches, GM Grand
Thanee Thongprachom, manager of the Pattaya Waterworks Authority said that
in the past there was a system at the Banglamung Filtration Station to pump
water to the Mab Prachan reservoir, but that the equipment was antiquated
and had deteriorated so much that it was not functional anymore.
He said that it would require cooperation between the government authorities
to remedy this. He recommended Pattaya City hold future meetings to discuss
Chanyuth Hengtrakul, former MP for Chonburi, said that Pattaya’s population
currently consumes an average of 130 thousand cubic meters of water every
day, and the volume is increasing as the city grows.
Boonsom Yutithampinyo, Chonburi Royal Irrigation Department officer.
Currently, East Water provides more than 50 percent of the untreated water,
and the remainder is from the Mab Prachan and Chaknok reservoirs. These
reservoirs depend on water from natural resources, so when there is a
drought a water shortage would re-occur.
Chanyuth said, “For the last couple of years, there had been excitement at
the assurance that the pipeline between Bangpra Reservoir and the Naklua
Water Filtration Station would ensure that Mab Prachan would also receive
water, but unfortunately that didn’t materialize.”
“Currently, the Naklua Water Filtration Station is closed for service, but
when made functional again, the pipeline could be used for filling up and
storing water at Mab Prachan Reservoir.
“This could solve the problem for the long term. The project would require a
budget of more than 200 million baht.”
Chanyuth assured everyone that he would contact the provincial governor’s
office in Chonburi and ask for an emergency budget to remedy the situation.
Chanyuth added that in the long term, water pipes could be laid from the
water storage area in Chachoengsao, running from the Phra-ongchao
Chaiyanuchit Canal to the Nongkor Reservoir for further transfer to the Mab
Prachan Reservoir. This method would ensure the flow of millions of cubic
meters of water every year. This would however be a major project, he said,
“but can be done.”
Walk-Run rally set for Visakha Bucha Day
Pattaya City will stage a Walk-Run rally to mark Visakha Bucha Day on May
Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon chaired a meeting on May 8 at Pattaya
City Hall, with chairman of the Walk-Run for Health committee Anupong
Udomrattanakulchai and other organizers present.
Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO,
has designated May 31 each year as Lord Buddha Day, the day that the Buddha
was born, became enlightened and ascended to Nirvana.
The Thai Health Promotion Foundation and Federation Health Running Club of
Thailand is organizing the Walk-Run rally at venues throughout Thailand on
Pattaya’s Walk-Run will start in front of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
Central Office Region 3 on May 31 at 4:00pm.
Distance to be covered is 6 kilometers, with participants ending at
Chaimongkol Temple in South Pattaya with lit candles in hand. Estimates are
that about 300 people will take part. Entrants pay 100 baht per person, and
everyone will receive a Buddhachinaracha Image coin. There will also be
shirts for souvenirs.
Anyone interested in attending can receive more information at the
Federation Health Running Club of Thailand tel 02 455 9148, or 081 642 3063
and 081 658 4708.
Sea defense system goes
over projected budget
As much as 188 million baht may be required to develop a coastal defense
system for Pattaya and Koh Larn, an amount that is higher than the agreed
figure, according to the consultants on the project.
Puetpan, deputy permanent secretary of Pattaya City.
The cost estimate follows on from a meeting held at Pattaya City Hall on
March 21 of this year between Sittiparp Muangkoom, permanent secretary of
Pattaya City, and Tesco Co Ltd, who are consultants to the Office Concerning
Safety at Sea, to discuss the installation of high-tech equipment for marine
The project is divided into two parts. One part includes the construction of
a command center building near the helipad at Bali Hai Pier, and another at
Koh Larn. The five existing rescue centers in Pattaya would be upgraded by
installing a computer system to provide information to visitors, and maps
would be installed at a total of 20 locations, 11 in Pattaya and nine on Koh
The second part of the project involves the installation of buoy tie boats
at 75 locations to protect natural resources, and a series of buoys to check
water currents and monitor the level of the sea. There would be one set at
Koh Larn and one set at Pattaya Beach, and they would send the information
to the command center at Bali Hai Pier.
There would be GPS equipment in every installation. SOS equipment to call
for assistance would be installed at 50 locations, 45 along the coast of
Pattaya and five at Koh Larn. Radar would be installed at the Bali Hai Pier
command center for monitoring purposes, transmitting information on the
direction of boats or the location of an accident. Training for the officers
manning the command center and other installations would be provided.
A further meeting has now been held at Pattaya City Hall between Apichart
Puetpan, deputy secretary and representatives from the Tesco Company.
Tesco have said that the 188 million baht budget that is being requested for
this project is too high, being some 8 million baht more than was originally
set. Apichart said that the consultants must decide on the equipment to be
used, and that cost savings would have to be made by cutting expenses on
materials rather than reducing the scale of the project.
The Tesco representative said that all the estimates are now in and
accounted for. Tesco has been engaged under a 1.9 million baht fee to
consult on this project.
Police find underage staff
at South Pattaya bars
An inspection of entertainment outlets in South Pattaya by the assistant
district chief of Banglamung and officers from Pattaya Police Station has
revealed that many of the staff members were under the legal age for working
in licensed premises.
The search was undertaken during the night of May 9-10 by assistant district
chief Pongsasit Pitajinan and Pol Lt Col Santi Chainiramai along with a team
of officers, following reports that many outlets were operating illegally
and allowing underage people onto the premises.
The officers were divided into two teams, one of which searched the bars of
Sunee Plaza, noted for its gay go-go bars and beer bars. Police checked the
ID cards of more than 60 staff members and found that 19 of them were under
the age of 20. Drug tests were performed and licenses of the outlets
checked. It was found that 10 outlets were providing service illegally.
The other team searched the beer bars in South Pattaya and found that many
of them were operating without legal documentation. The owners of some of
the bars were arrested.
Pongsasit claimed that complaints had been received from tourists that many
beer bars and other entertainment establishments were operating without a
license, and that they were employing staff members who were under the age
of 20. Police have ordered that the offending outlets be closed for 30 days,
and that the owners of those without licenses apply for the necessary
Towel clad damsel, tracks down British rogue who assaulted and robbed her
Motorbike taxi driver rides to the rescue
A British man has been charged with assaulting a bar girl and stealing her
money, after taking her to a hotel room for sex.
Pattaya Police Station received a report at 1:00am on May 5 that a foreign
man suspected of theft had been pursued into a public restroom at the
beginning of Soi Yamato on Pattaya Beach Road.
still wrapped in a bath towel, identifies the rogue who assaulted and robbed
Arriving at the scene, officers found members of the public detaining
Benjamin Gardner, a 28-year-old British national. Ms Ratchanee Wansu, a
33-year-old resident of Nakhorn Srithammaraj Province, who worked as a
service girl at a bar on Walking Street, was standing wearing a white towel
tied at her chest and pointing at the accused thief. Her neck had green
bruise marks on it.
Upon searching the restroom, police found evidence consisting of a 1-baht
gold bracelet and a purse containing 1,500 baht. The officers invited the
victim to Pattaya Police Station to file a report.
Ratchanee said that she was on her way to work and as she arrived at the
entrance to Walking Street the accused had come up and invited her to have
sex with him for a fee. She agreed and followed him to a hotel on Pattaya
He told her to take a shower, so she took her clothes off and tied a towel
around her chest. Before she could go into the bathroom, Gardner came up
behind her and put her in a headlock. He threw her on the bed, slapped her,
and grabbed her throat. She was not able to fight him off, so she pretended
to be unconscious. Gardner then took her gold bracelet and her purse that
contained money, and ran from the room. Ratchanee, still clad in her towel,
ran outside and shouted for help. Natee Sukplem, 38, a motorbike taxi driver
at the entrance to the soi, witnessed the incident. He pursued the accused
and was able to detain him.
Gardner confessed to assaulting Ratchanee and stealing her property, saying
he had no money. However, upon searching him, police found cash in Gardner’s
pocket totaling ten thousand baht. Police also checked his passport and
found it didn’t have an immigration stamp.
Gardner has been charged with assault, theft, and being an illegal alien.
Police are also checking his records thoroughly to see if they can unearth
any other misdemeanors.
Transvestites pick pockets
for drug money
He three katoeys confess to
robbing the British national in Soi 13.
A gang of transvestites intent on raising money to buy ya ba pills
(amphetamines) picked the pocket of a British tourist when they approached
him and offered their sexual services.
Pol Col Sutin Sappuang, superintendent of Pattaya Police Station, led a team
of officers to the Pattaya Beach Road area after receiving a report that
ladyboys were stealing from foreign tourists at the Pattaya Beach
Condominium parking lot in Soi 13.
At the scene police found the victim, a 33-year-old British national. He
stated that as he parked his car and was going to his room, three
transvestites approached him and propositioned him for sex. They embraced
him, but he refused them and walked away. After that he inspected his
pockets and noticed that his wallet containing a total of 16,000 baht, and
his Sony mobile telephone were missing.
Police traced the three suspects to room number 301 at Pho Residence on
Chalermprakiat Road, Soi 8. They were identified as Sarawuth Lordngern or
May, 23, Kiattisak Maichornklang or Daeng, 30, and Somporn Sritha or Porn,
28. They confessed to the theft, saying they wanted to buy some ya ba. They
said that because it was raining they were not able to go out and solicit
sex on the beach. Therefore they didn’t have enough money, and came up with
a plan to pick pockets.
German man found dead
in kitchen of his house
An elderly German man found dead in a house at Parkrungrueng Village, Soi
Khaonoi on May 9, died from slitting his own wrist.
Police and Sawang Boriboon Foundation rescuers called out to the
single-story property found the body of 74-year-old Edgar Erwin Eckert lying
face down in the kitchen. They estimated he had been dead for five days. His
right wrist had been cut by a sharp implement, but no other wounds were
found on his body, and there were no signs of him having been assaulted.
Mrs Rapeepan Suksiri, the 27-year-old owner of the house, said that the
deceased had rented the property for five years at 4,500 a month. However,
he hadn’t paid the rent for two consecutive months. She went to investigate,
but received no reply when she called his name from the front of the house.
The front door wasn’t locked, so she entered and found her tenant dead in
Panom Pisa, 41, a neighbor stated that the deceased was a recluse. He liked
drinking beer, and in the past there had been many ladies staying at the
house. However, the last woman had moved almost everything out, and left the
deceased to be alone. There was no one there to take care of him.
From their initial inquiries police have assumed that the deceased possibly
was in a serious state, so he had used a knife to slit his wrist and perhaps
he went into shock and died. An autopsy is to be conducted at the police
French woman has purse
stolen in tailor shop
A French woman shopping for fabrics had her purse stolen by two customers in
The incident happened during the afternoon of May 3, when Pattaya Police
Station received a report that a theft had taken place at a tailor shop in
Arriving at the scene officers found Mrs Lefevre Valerie, a 39-year-old
French citizen. She told police that she and her husband have lived in
Thailand for approximately five years, and stay at a condominium on
Thappraya Mountain Road in South Pattaya. Her husband works as an engineer
at Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate.
She had gone to the shop to select some fabric for making pants for her
husband. She laid her pink purse on the table inside the shop. It contained
a total of 16,000 baht, a bunch of keys, credit cards, and documents. After
that she walked around to select fabric that was on display on the shelves.
When she looked back at the table to collect her purse to pay money, it was
Shop manager Pramesh Kumar, said that as he was standing and advising the
customer on the fabrics he noticed two men enter the store. One of them was
wearing a blue T-shirt and a cap, and looked like a soldier. They separated
and walked around looking like they would select some fabric. He ordered his
employee in the shop to welcome them, but neither of them bought anything
and hurried to leave. He suspected that the men had taken the victim’s
The police radioed other officers in the direction that they expected the
thieves had fled, but they were not able to find them.
City to launch sports club for youngsters
A futsal training center has been opened in the premises of Pattaya School
No 7. Announcing the opening on May 2, Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon
said the purpose was to train the trainers, with specialists from the Office
of Sports and Recreation Development acting as instructors.
Chantanawaranon, Deputy Mayor of Pattaya City presented a training kit to
all the participants.
The center was away to a good start, with 40 teachers and employees
associated with Pattaya City attending the first session.
Pradit Thongchai, a recreation officer with Pattaya City, said that in the
near future Pattaya would launch a special sports club for youngsters with
activities such as futsal, swimming, tennis, aerobics, petanque and soccer
available. The project is designed to attract more of Pattaya’s youth to
take part in organized sports and games, and to train those with ability to
regional and international level.
The club will start accepting memberships in June. City hall will provide
part of the budget, with the balance coming from membership fees, which will
be paid annually.
Sukhumvit upgrades are costing 500M baht says Ronakit
City hall is spending almost 500 million baht on
upgrading Sukhumvit Road, the main artery into Pattaya.
Hi-Mast street light poles will increase the illumination on Sukhumvit Road.
(inset) Ronakit Ekasingh, Deputy Mayor.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, whose brief includes the city’s public
utilities, says that the plan is to improve the flow of the traffic and also
to beautify the highway to improve the image of Pattaya as an international
The upgrading involves 14 kilometers of Sukhumvit and involves a budget of
477 million baht.
There are four main components to the plan. Under an expenditure of 150
million baht, the number of highway lanes is being increased from three to
four, along with the provision of a sidewalk. Another 150 million baht will
see the installation of about 200 high-mast streetlights along the route.
The planting of trees and shrubs along the median, together with sprinklers
and rainwater traps is costing another 77 million baht. The remaining 100
million baht will be spent on traffic engineering and signboarding to
accommodate the expansion to four lanes.
Ronakit said that this total amount is substantial, but the result should be
an impressive and efficient approach highway for visitors to the city. The
deputy mayor added that it is estimated income from tourists to Pattaya is
approximately 5 billion baht per year. Compared to this, a budget of 500
million baht for desperately needed improvements is not an unreasonable
Trees and flowers are planted
along the median on Sukhumvit Road.
Navy sends water
supplies to Koh Larn
Demand on the popular tourist island more than supply
Koh Larn is facing a problem with drought, and community chief Kamneun
Chaweerueng has sent to a formal request to the Royal Thai Navy at Sattahip
asking for help.
navy barge laden with water docks at the Koh Larn pier.
The letter was sent to Vice Admiral Jamnong Kittipeerachon,
commander-in-chief of the First Fleet and director of the Disaster Relief
Center at the Royal Thai Navy.
Vice Admiral Jamnong sent the HTMS Ravi, under the command of Lt Pinit
Thapla, to the island with a consignment of 100,000 liters of water. The
vessel docked at Laemtien Pier and its crew unloaded the water into tanks at
Naban Beach. Another 300,000 liters was sent by boat from Bali Hai Pier.
Sutham Petchket, director of the Pattaya City Office at Koh Larn said that
although this is now the rainy season, demand in Koh Larn is high and water
needs to be kept in reserve.
personnel replenish the water tanks on Koh Larn.
The island has a total area of 3,500 rai and an official population of
2,500, together with a large unofficial population. Approximately 70,000
Thai and foreign tourists cruise over to Koh Larn each year from the Pattaya
coast, and the numbers are increasing, so water is an increasingly precious
commodity, said Sutham.
Somboon Sriwattana, advisor to the head of the Koh Larn community said that
the water supplied by the Navy would be allocated to those who have supply
problems. At present, he said, rainwater is providing enough for immediate
needs but would not solve the long-term problem.
Hundreds of tourists cross
over to Koh Larn daily to enjoy the sea, sand and sun.
Emergency meeting held
to solve drainage problems along railroad tracks
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn held an urgent meeting on May 8 at Pattaya
City Hall to discuss a water drainage system for the new east-west road
being built alongside the railway line.
Muangkoom, (left) Permanent Secretary of Pattaya City and mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn hold discussions on building the drainage system.
Permanent secretary of Pattaya City Sittiparp Muangkoom and a representative
from Consultant Engineering Co Ltd also attended the meeting.
Niran said that the road, which runs alongside the railway on both sides for
16 kilometers, faces problems of flooding because the ground slopes, and
nearby residences suffer damage.
Consulting Engineering Co has surveyed the area and suggests building water
channels between the road and the railway on both sides, which would collect
the water that comes from higher elevations, so that four pumping stations
along a 7-kilometer stretch could be used to divert it.
The engineering representative said that a more intensive survey should be
undertaken to see if another solution involving a total of 10 pumping
stations along the full 16 kilometers would be feasible.
The meeting was unable to reach a firm conclusion, because the road is still
under construction and the full implications need to be studied. In addition
to deciding on the form and the materials of the drainage system, permission
would need to be granted by the State Railway of Thailand, which has
regulations regarding expansion of the railway system.
‘Do something about the cluttered sidewalks’ says Sanit
Pattaya City Council Sanit Boonmachai has urged city hall to do something
about the large number of advertisement boards on the sidewalks, especially
along Central Pattaya Road and on Third Road, between North and Central
Boonmachai displays pictures of the sorry state of affairs on the beach
Sanit’s complaint was aired at Pattaya City Hall on May 9, when he chaired a
meeting of the committee for administration and preservation of the peace.
Also present was city councilor Farooq Wongborisuthi.
Although there are regulations concerning the blocking of the footpaths,
said Sanit, there is little enforcement of them. This applies also to the
vendors who line many of the sidewalks in prime areas, and take up public
space on busy thoroughfares.
“The signboards and the vendors on the sidewalks spoil the image of the
city,” said Sanit, adding that there appeared to be confusion between
municipal officers and the police as to whose responsibility it was to
enforce the regulations.
During the meeting, the committee also heard that 50 million baht was spent
on the project to improve the landscaping at Pattaya Beach, but that the
laying of the storm drains had caused damage to the appearance of the
seafront, and that a further 10 million baht was needed.
Sea turtle heads
for record in egg laying
A female turtle has surprised Royal Thai Navy conservationists by what is
believed to be a new record in egg laying.
keep vigil as mother turtle lays her latest batch of eggs for an all time
The turtle has been to the Sattahip Bay beach behind the residence of the
commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy seven times in the past four
months, and has laid a total of 817 eggs.
Personnel have checked her microchip, and discovered this turtle laid eggs
for the first time on Sattahip beach in 2004. Royal Thai Navy officers had
released her into the wild in 1992.
Rear Admiral Chaiwat Sriakkharin, commander of Air and Coastal Defense
Command received a report from Captain Kosit Jiamsupakit, director of Air
and Coastal Defense Command and his deputy, Captain Tinakorn Kanchanataemee
that the turtle was being monitored.
The Sea Turtle Conservation Center said the turtle’s microchip reveals that
she had laid eggs a total of four times in 2004. This year she has been back
on seven occasions. On February 21 she laid 119 eggs, and on March 9 a total
of 118 eggs. On March 21 a total of 129 eggs were laid, on March 31 there
were 100 eggs, on April 15 another 100 eggs were laid, on April 23 a further
123 eggs were laid, and on May 4 she laid 128 eggs, making a grand total of
Rear Admiral Chaiwat said that female turtles would generally lay eggs four
times in one cycle over four years. Conservation Center experts are
predicting there are more to come from this female, saying that she could
total 10 layings in this cycle.
Navy fires Exocet missile
in ocean maneuvers
An Exocet missile is fired
from the HTMS Witayakhom.
The ground shudders as the
heavy artillery guns are fired.
Navy maneuvers off the coast on April 27 included the firing of an Exocet
missile at a target out at sea.
General Boonsrang Niumpradit, supreme commander of the Royal Thai Armed
Forces paid a formal visit to HTMS Chakrinaruebet, arriving by Navy
aircraft. Also on board the vessel were Admiral Satiraphan Keyanon,
commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy, and his deputy Admiral Wichai
Yuwananggoon, along with a group of commanders and high-ranking officers.
General Boonsrang and the other senior visitors spent the night on HTMS
Chakrinaruebet, ready to observe the maneuvers the following day.
The main attack vessel for the firing of the Exocet missile was HTMS
Witayakhom, with HTMS Racharit in support. General Boonsrang and Admiral
Satiraphan witnessed the missile firing from a helicopter that took off from
the Chakrinaruebet. The missile hit its prepared target, which exploded. The
exercise was deemed a success.
Exocet missiles are installed on three fast attack naval vessels, namely the
HTMS Witayakhom, HTMS Racharit and HTMS Udomdej. All three ships were
constructed at the Cantiere Navale Breda Naval Shipyard in Italy. The Exocet
is classified as a ground-to-ground weapon, with a maximum range of 42
kilometers or 22.5 nautical miles.
The same day, also saw the firing of 155mm shells from heavy artillery guns
by the Coastal Defense Force Region 1 division under Air and Coastal Defense
Command The gun was placed on the coast and fired at a target out at sea.
Baywatch: It’s in the pipeline
The Pattaya Water Supply Office has been laying pipes throughout Pattaya,
but the work seems to be taking a long time to complete. If you drive up
from the South Pattaya-Second Road intersection towards Thappraya Hill, you
will find a lot of traffic congestion as the excavation there takes up a
complete lane of the road. Asked why the hole is being left open so long,
the Pattaya Water Works Office said their pipes had been laid but the Public
Health Department has decided to lay a drainage system there too. The Water
Supply spokesperson said it was better that the two projects were completed
together, because if the road were resurfaced now it would only have to be
dug up again later.
Laughter – universal language during joint operations
They work side-by-side without a common language and at first there’s some
difficulty. A request for a new tool is received with puzzled glances and
shared silence, finally interrupted by an awkward shared laughter.
After a few days of interaction, a system is worked out. A shake of a hand
one way or the other is a way of asking for more mortar or extra paint. A
sailor turns to grab the requested item and accidentally knocks over a
bucket of water; embarrassed, he turns to see if anyone noticed. Everyone in
the group saw the blunder and again they share laughter, this time it’s only
awkward for the clumsy sailor.
A detachment of approximately 20 Sailors from Naval Mobile Construction
Battalion 3 (Seabees), Naval Base Port Hueneme, Calif., along with an
Engineer Battalion Royal Thai Marines are currently finishing up work on a
multipurpose room, as well as several other side projects, at Wat Nong Grab
Elementary School here.
This community relations project was one of 11 humanitarian/civic assistance
projects taking place during Exercise Cobra Gold. These projects are
designed to improve interoperability and build friendly relations between
the Pacific partner-nations responding to regional contingencies such as the
multinational combined relief effort in support of those affected by the
Petty Officers 1st Class
Suppachai Chaivinit (green shirt) and Wuttichai Harnkla, Thai Marines
Engineers Battalion, apply a concrete base to a shrine as part of a side
project at Wat Nong Grab Elementary School May 9.
A dedication ceremony for the building will be held May 18. The Seabees have
been in Thailand for more than a month taking advantage of their time here
to help out the local community while building a bond with their Thai
“The biggest accomplishment of this deployment is we’re creating a
friendship,” said Navy Lt. j.g. Marc S. Nelson, detachment
officer-in-charge. “We’re providing an asset to the community. It’s
something that will be here forever that was built by U.S. and Thai forces.”
Kathryn R. Henderson, builder, NMCB-3, and Chief Petty Officer 1st Class
Pallop Naewwab, Thai Marines Engineer Battalion, paint the trim on the stage
of the new multipurpose room built by both services for Wat Nong Grab
Elementary School May 9.
The building will last for many years and the friendship molded is sure to
last just as long.
“The best thing about the entire operation is the interaction between the
U.S. and Thailand,” said Thai Lt. j.g. Jirasak Wangworawottanshol,
officer-in-charge, Engineers Battalion. “It’s not just building the
buildings, but building the relationships between the Thai and U.S.
militaries. We can use this time to share experiences and work together.”
Shared experiences were highly noticeable at the site as laughter could be
heard from each joint team spread about the area.
“It’s rewarding being out here because you get to see another side of life,”
said Petty Officer 3rd Class Raymond E. Bruner, utilities man, NMCB-3. “It’s
just fun working with them (Thai Marines). I like to come into work with
them because I get a good laugh all day. The laughter makes the work easier,
time goes by quick and it’s just been fun for me.”
Bruner, a Kansas City native, said he has especially enjoyed the opportunity
to be involved in humanitarian work; a welcome break from his two previous
deployments to Iraq. For another sailor, she couldn’t agree more.
“It’s why I joined,” said Seaman Kathryn R. Henderson, builder, NMCB-3.
“Helping people out is the reason we’re here and it’s the most rewarding
thing. It’s about the relationships we’re building and it’s been wonderful.”
Construction on the multipurpose building has gone so smoothly the Thais and
Seabees have undertaken several side projects ranging from building a
storage shed to landscaping.
The side projects have provided the two groups extra opportunities to share
experiences as well as learn from one another.
“I’ve actually learned a lot from them,” said Bruner referring to two Thai
Marines who are teaching him how to do concrete work around a shrine. “I’m a
plumber. So, I don’t know anything about doing stucco. I’m learning the
building side of things from them.”
As Bruner describes working alongside and learning from his new Thai
friends, almost out of habit, he uses hand signals. His Thai counterparts
watch him as he speaks. When he returns to help them, teasingly they mimic
his hand signals. All three laugh.
Seabees of Naval Mobile
Constrction Battalion-3 (NMCB-3), Port Hueneme, Ca. (currently deployed to
Camp Shields, Okinawa, Japan) paint and add finishing touches to a school
house in Ban Nong Krob, Thailand in support of Cobra Gold 2007. (USMC photo
by Corporal Angela M. Hitchcock)
Multilateral medical effort eases pain of locals
R. Drew Hendricks
Photos by Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks
Thai, U.S., Japanese and Singaporean doctors shared resources to provide
medical assistance to the residents of Prachuab Khirikhan province at the
Udomraj Pakdee School May 11, as part of exercise Cobra Gold 2007, a joint
multilateral exercise focusing on enhancing security in the Southeast Region
as well as providing humanitarian/civic assistance projects.
This humanitarian assistance project is one of 11 being conducted during the
exercise. With medical check sheets in hand, each patient visited different
stations for a full medical exam, including optometry, orthopedics, dental,
physical therapy and a basic health care assessment.
Yasunori Mizuguchi, doctor, Japan Ground Self Defense Force, exams
12-year-old Mattaneya Tasanapardee, who was experiencing severe ear aches
during the medical civil assistance program at the Udomraj Pakdee School.
Every ailment was treated, down to the smallest of aches and pains.
“It’s amazing what some of these people endure,” said Petty Officer 1st
Class Kevin Ashcraft, hospital corpsman, Operation Hospital Support Unit,
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Calif. “One man had a 10-year fracture that
never properly healed and all he complained about was a little back pain
caused by farm work. It really puts things in perspective.”
The project involved a large number of military doctors and nurses from the
Pacific partner nations who treated more than 400 patients in just a few
“There is no doubt these people are doing great things here today,” said
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Stephen Maloney, deputy director, humanitarian/civic
Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer
Bachman, doctor, Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, N.C., shows a Thai man
physical therapy exercises to help the pain he had was experiencing. Many
forms of medical treatment were available to the locals of Udomnatpako
during the medical civil assistance program.
“We are absolutely out here to help the local community.”
Maloney said this project, along with others conducted in the past weeks, is
part of an overall theater security cooperation initiative. These projects
are designed to foster ties between the Southeast Asian nations and prepare
them for real-world contingencies such as the December 2004 tsunami relief
“We are helping to provide the essential (military to military) relationship
development that we need in the region,” he added. The medical assistance
here provided Pacific partner nations a chance to work together in an
operational environment and help people in need. “(It) feels great to help
and learn from our partners and learn more about their cultures,” said
Singapore Army Master Sgt. Tan Shaotheng. “This operation has been well
organized and the flow has been smooth. It is very well done.” The medical
professionals did not just treat the patients’ injuries, they also collected
valuable data that was sent to local health care facilities and referred the
patients for follow-on health care.
“Sure, we can help them here and now. But, we also need to be concerned
about the follow-on care,” Maloney said. “The data collection is just as
important as the medical care.” Those involved in the project continued
working long into the hot and humid day, handing out eyeglasses to those who
have never seen clearly, fitting the old with canes and checking the health
and comfort of the young. Working with translators, the staff did not quit
until the last person’s sheet had been filled out completely. The sentiment
among the medical professionals was of not doing enough. Despite the
language barrier, those receiving treatment smiled and laughed alongside
their caregivers who came from all corners of the Pacific. Even those who
were weakened from pain expressed their gratitude. “I think they appreciate
our help,” Shaotheng said. “They need medical attention and we are happy to
provide it for them.”
Thai translators assist the
Pacific Partner medical staff in various tests including eye exams at a
medical civil assistance program during the joint military exercise Cobra
Gold 2007 at Udomnatpako, Thailand May 11.