Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) today welcomed a senior delegation from the Royal Thai Navy to Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), greets Royal Thai Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Thagerngsak Wangkaew, upon his arrival to CMF Headquarters. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cynthia Z. De Leon/ Released)

The distinguished visitors included Admiral Thagerngsak Wangkaew, Chief of Staff; Vice Admiral Apichart Suvarnajata, Deputy Chief Of Staff; Vice Admiral Tawewuth Pongsapipatt, Assistant Chief of Staff; and Rear Admiral Panlop Tamisanon, Director General Operations.

Thailand became the 25th member of Combined Maritime Forces in September this year, following a historic decision by the Thai cabinet to commit ships and personnel to CMF’s counter-piracy mission, Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151).

The offshore patrol vessel, HTMS Pattani, the support ship, HTMS Similan, and a total of 351 Thai personnel, joined ships from Australia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Turkey, UK and US in contributing to the multi-national force.

The delegation met with CMF Commander Vice Admiral Mark Fox, and Deputy Commander, Commodore Tim Fraser. They discussed some of the key lessons learned during the Thai Navy’s recent deployment and how these can be incorporated into CMF operations, together with possibilities for further naval cooperation.

Speaking after the meeting, Vice Admiral Fox said, “I am honored by the Royal Thai Navy’s visit to Bahrain to mark the successful completion of the their first contribution to Combined Maritime Forces’ counter piracy mission.”

Vice Adm. Mark Fox, commander, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and Cmdre. Tim Fraser, deputy commander CMF, stand Royal Thai Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Thagerngsak Wangkaew and other senior Royal Thai Navy officers during a visit to CMF Headquarters.

“Piracy is an international problem and CMF’s most effective tool is the shared commitment and close cooperation between our member nations. Over the past months, HTMS Pattani and HTMS Similan have consistently demonstrated the highest standards of professionalism, together with unwavering dedication. We are proud to have them as members of CMF and look forward to working with them in the future.”

CTF-151’s mission is to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy, protecting maritime vessels of any nationality and securing freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. In conjunction with NATO and EU Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR), CTF-151 conducts patrols in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) and supports Best Management Practice (BMP) methods for piracy avoidance that are promoted by the shipping industry.