Royal Thai Navy hosts ASEAN naval chiefs meeting


One outcome of the meeting is a planned ASEAN force for humanitarian missions.

Thailand’s Defence Forces chief Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn presided over the opening ceremony at a Bangkok hotel. 

Naval chiefs of nine ASEAN members namely Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam attended the gathering. The Lao PDR, being land-locked, does not have a navy, although it has a Mekong River patrol force.

Thai Navy commander-in-chief Adm Narong Pipatanasai discussed ongoing and future cooperation among naval forces in the region and regional marine security.

The meeting also focused on the role of ASEAN naval forces after the formation of the ASEAN Community in 2015.

The roles are expected to respond to international cooperation in the region next year.

Gen Thanasak said that one goal of the meeting was to form the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) force that would offer humanitarian assistance and disaster relief services.

It will be a kind of peace-keeping force and integrate the capabilities of countries in the region.

The ASEAN regional force could provide emergency aid to other regions, he said. (MCOT online news)