Thai navy celebrates founding with fleet show partners

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The Royal Thai Navy celebrate its founding with a fancy drill and parades.
The Royal Thai Navy celebrate its founding with a fancy drill and parades.

The Royal Thai Navy celebrated its modern-day founding with community service and a “fancy drill” in Pattaya, as it played host to the International Fleet Review.

Capt. Surayut Niwetthonglit, deputy commander of the Air and Coastal Defense Command in Sattahip, and top Pattaya-area police and environmental workers led 800 sailors, civil servants and volunteers in in the rain cleaning up the Bali Hai Pier area Nov. 15 before the fleet show’s main events four days later.

Participants picked up trashed and tidied landscaping to ready the South Pattaya jetty.

Normally, the navy would commemorate Royal Thai Navy Day on Nov. 20, the actual anniversary of its 1906 founding, but the fleet show’s major ceremonies were scheduled for Nov. 19-20 with dignitaries including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha were expected to attend.

Instead, Thai navy sailors joined counterparts from the 18 other countries participating in fleet show on Pattaya Beach at Central Road for a rescue exercise, a fancy drill and parades.

Finally, about 500 Thai and foreign sailors split into three groups in a practice run for the big Nov. 19 parade.

One group celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, another formed an international parade of military personnel from 11 countries, and the final group was comprised of tourism businesses around Pattaya.

All groups marched down Beach Road and ended near Walking Street.