Thai, Australian navies tie up for AusThai 2011


With CARAT 2011 just concluded, the Royal Thai Navy launched another round of war games, this time with counterparts from Australia.

AusThai 2011 got underway May 26 with two ships from down under and two from Sattahip at Chuksamet Pier. Rear Adm. Dusadee Sangkapreecha, commander of Frigate Squadron 1, led the HTMS Phutta Loetla Napalai and HTMS Rattanakosin through the week-long exercise that saw operations between Sattahip and Koh Samui.

Top military brass from the Australian and Thai Navies salute the start of AusThai 2011.

Two Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigates, the HMA Parramatta and HMA Ballarat participated in the games, which focused on honing boarding skills and reviewing lessons from the two navies’ joint mission off Somalia last year. Fire-fighting techniques, casualty handling and first aid were also covered.

Australian Rear Adm. Steve Gilmore said AusThai ’11 presented a great opportunity to work alongside the Navy of a regional partner.

“It strengthens our capability and the skills of our sailors and officers while promoting a shared understanding of how Australia and Thailand can work together in a regional environment,” the admiral said in a statement.

The first joint exercise with Australia took place in 1973, when New Zealand and British forces also participated. Australia and Thailand launched their first bilateral games in 1977.

AusThai launched a week after Thai Frigate Squadron 2 wrapped up its two-week Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise with the United States.