Vice Adm. Pongthep Nhuthep, Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the Royal Thai Navy, visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for an official tour April 1.
The tour included the guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal (CG 73) and the Surface Warfare Officers School, Engineering Learning Site Pearl Harbor (SWOS ELS).
Pongthep came to Hawaii to attend the Transnational Security Cooperation (TSC) course at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu.
While on Oahu, Pongthep visited USS Port Royal where he was greeted by the ships commanding officer, operations officer, and the navigation officer. While on board he toured the ships foc’sle, pilothouse, combat information center and the central control station.
“Even though there are a lot of training costs involved they have a good potential to improve the operability of everything” said Pongthep.
Pongthep added “We have a very close relationship between the U.S. Navy and Thai Navy.”
Joining the tour was Lt. Cmdr. Jimmy Wang from Commander, Pacific Fleet, Plans and Policy office.
“The U.S. military relationship with the Royal Thai Military is based on a security alliance and many years of cooperation, this relationship is mutually beneficial,” said Wang. “The captain of USS Port Royal briefed the vice admiral on the history of the ship and her participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012, the vice admiral was very impressed with the ship and her crew and was grateful for the hospitality.”
During his visit Pongthep received a guided tour of the SWOS learning site facilities including multiple demonstrations of firefighting in an aviation trainer, main machinery room and a demonstration of the wet trainer.
“We are an ally with the Royal Thai Navy and we are building those relationships for the strategic position of the U.S. Navy and global stability,” said Senior Chief Damage Controlman Chris Salzer, Senior Enlisted Leader for SWOS. “Our job here is to teach basic damage control and to give the vice admiral of the Thai Navy an experience of what we do here showing the unity and teamwork that hopefully carries on all the way through the Navy on both sides.”
The mission of the Surface Warfare Officers School is to provide a continuum of professional education and training in support of surface navy requirements that prepares officers and enlisted engineers to serve at sea. The SWOS ELS offers different trainers and simulators to provide students the ability to practice what they have learned in the classroom.
Press Release, April 4, 2014; Image: Wikimedia