About 2,500 sailors sang the royal anthem in tribute to HM the late King aboard Thailand’s only aircraft carrier.
Navy commander-in-chief Adm. Na Areenij led the Nov. 18 ceremony on the deck of the HTMS Chakri Naruebet at the Sattahip Naval Base. Anchored nearby were the HTMS Taksin, Naresuan, Pinklao, and the T996 patrol boat.
The assembled sailors as sang “The Impossible Dream” and “A Sword of the Country,” which were HM King Bhumibol’s musical compositions.
The idled aircraft carrier was named HTMS Chakri Naruebet meaning “the Great of Chakri Dynasty”. The ship was built by Bazan from Spain, copying the design of the Principle de Aturias of the Spanish Navy with improved drive, aviation control and weapons systems.
It was built in October 1993 and had its keel laying on July 12, 1994. It was launched on Jan. 20, 1995 but quickly proved too expensive to actually operate and now sits tied up at the Sattahip base except on special occasions and emergency humanitarian relief missions.