The British offshore patrol vessel HMS Spey recently arrived at the Royal Thai Navy’s port in Sattahip as part of the UK government’s Indo-Pacific strategy to strengthen relations between the two regions.
British Royal Navy Commander Michael Proudman said the mission aims to build relationships and friendship, particularly with militaries and navies in the Indo-Pacific region. He also said it aims to strengthen maritime security, safeguard marine biodiversity, and conduct humanitarian aid and disaster relief work.
The entire ship’s crew of the UK Ship HMS Spey found time in their busy schedule to visit Baan Jing Jai Foundation children’s home, just outside Pattaya. The children joined the sailors and members of the Thailand Branch of the Royal British Legion, in sprucing up their living quarters with a good lick of paint. The children also enjoyed playing sport with the ship’s crew.
The Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel has made stops in Yokohama, Japan; Pyeongtaek City in South Korea; Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam; and Sihanoukville in Cambodia before arriving in Thailand. Mark Gooding, the British Ambassador to Thailand, emphasized the importance of building relationships across the region, as half of the global economy will be driven by this region by 2050.
With over 1.7 million British citizens residing in the region, Gooding said any change in its economic environment and politics creates a significant impact on the UK economy and its support of an open society. He affirmed that his administration will continue engaging with the region to further establish comprehensive bonding while protecting its interests.
In 2022, the British and Thai governments signed an agreement on defense, genomics, education, counter-terrorism, and finance, with the arrival of HMS Spey being part of that agreement. (NNT)