June 17, 2019 – The U.S. Navy and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) conducted joint submarine knowledge exchanges and simulations at Sattahip Naval Base during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2019 from May 28 to June 8.
Training events included subject matter expert exchanges focusing on submarine operation procedures and tactics, along with simulated, integrated watch team scenarios conducted inside the RTN submarine simulator.
“I am very pleased to see submariners from both sides learn from each other throughout several activities, from classroom training and seminars to integrating a submarine control team during tactical trainer exercises,” said Royal Thai Navy Rear Adm. Wanchai Songmetta, commander, Royal Thai Navy Submarine Squadron. “I especially appreciate the fact that submariners from COMSUBPAC (Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet) and DESRON 7 (Destroyer Squadron 7) bring with them so much valuable experience, which will be a tremendous help as Thailand is setting up a new submarine force, and I am confident that our partnership and cooperation in submarine operations will continue to grow in the future.”
According to Capt. Andrew Ring, director of submarine operations at Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, the goal of this year’s CARAT submarine exercises was to share knowledge in an effort to enhance each force’s ability to operate safely and effectively.
“We were honored to be invited back and provide our lessons for inclusion into the RTN’s impressive indigenous submarine training program,” said Ring. “It is extremely exciting to participate in the reestablishment of a submarine force. We hope our operational experience will provide valuable recommendations as the RTN design their submarine headquarters and shore infrastructure. The cooperation that has been demonstrated during CARAT will strengthen both our submarine forces’ ability to operate safely and provide the foundation from which both of our submarine forces can continue to learn from each other for decades to come.”
This is the second iteration of CARAT Thailand in which the two navies have conducted joint submarine training.
“We are working with the Royal Thai Navy submariners to help them train for what to expect once they are out at sea,” said Lt. Matt Ziesmer, a training coordinator assigned to DESRON 7. “We jointly operated during the anti-submarine exercise, Guardian Sea, but during CARAT we helped the submarine squadron train their watch teams to enhance their submarine capabilities.”
Guardian Sea is a bilateral exercise focusing on strengthening U.S. Navy and RTN anti-submarine warfare procedures and proficiency through symposia, planning discussions, personnel exchanges and at-sea events.
CARAT, the U.S. Navy’s oldest and longest continually running regional exercise in South and Southeast Asia, strengthens partnerships between regional navies and enhances maritime security cooperation throughout the Indo-Pacific. The Royal Thai Navy has been a part of the annual CARAT series since the exercise began in 1995.