Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand, visited Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) headquarters, Bahrain, May 15.
Commodore Simon Ancona, Royal Navy, deputy commander, Combined Maritime Forces, and Rear Adm. Kevin Scott, deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, welcomed Prime Minister Shinawatra to CMF. Shinawatra is touring the Gulf region and will visit Qatar after departing Bahrain.
Shinawatra was presented briefs about CMF’s mission and achievements, and discussed the Royal Thai Navy’s contribution to CMF, as well as their current command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 (counter-piracy).
“The Combined Maritime Forces mission is important from both a national and international perspective. Continuing to develop our collaborative and interoperable Maritime Security role in the region remains crucial,” said Commodore Ancona.
Shinawatra commented on Thailand’s continued support of CMF, the importance of protecting sea lanes and continued cooperation in the maritime domain. She said, “It is an honour to be here at Combined Maritime Forces. Thailand places great importance on enhancing cooperation and in addressing piracy and armed robbery at sea. We must continue working together to stop these occurrences. Rest assured of Thailand’s continued support.”
Speaking on behalf of CTF 151, Capt. Benya Boonsong, Royal Thai Navy, Chief of Shore Coordination Team, said, “There is no doubt that the key to the successful reduction in the number of piracy events over this year is the effective cooperation among the capable naval forces in theatre.”
In 2010, Thailand became the 25th member of Combined Maritime Forces, a 26 nation naval coalition.
Combined Maritime Forces is a multi-national naval partnership, which exists to promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East, which encompass some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.