Admiral Tanasak Patimapragorn, Thailand’s Chief of Defence Forces and Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom, Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Navy met with Commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, Rear Adm. Tanin Likitawong, Royal Thai Navy, in Seychelles, May 20-21.
Thailand’s military delegation met with Likitawong to discuss Thailand’s contributions to Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), CTF 151 counter-piracy mission. This is the first time Thailand has been in command of the counter-piracy mission since joining CMF in 2010.
Likitawong stated, “This is the first time the Royal Thai Navy has been in command of CTF 151. This task force is comprised of a multi-national staff with the common ground of working towards security of sea lanes and communication in the region. Counter-piracy remains an important topic in the international community.”
Speaking of the efforts of CTF 151, Patimapragorn remarked, “A stronger support from participating countries is still needed to counter piracy to ensure security in this area of operation. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you and CTF 151 of my continued full support, both of personnel and equipment, to help suppress piracy in the region.”
The Thailand military delegation and members from CTF 151 also met with the British High Commissioner and members of European Union Naval Forces Somalia (EUNAVFOR) to discuss counter-piracy task force cooperation and counter-piracy measures in the region.
Rounroengrom said, “Many countries have recognized the importance of multilateral cooperation to strengthen maritime security. For this reason, it is heartening to see significant progress being made by coordinating our efforts and resources.”
The delegation and members from CTF 151 concluded the visit with Seychelles Attorney General and Seychelles Chief of Defence Forces and discussed local concerns related to piracy and legal agreements for prosecuting pirates in Seychelles.
CTF 151 is one of three taskforces under control of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), based in Bahrain. CTF 151 was established in 2009 to deter, disrupt and suppress piracy, protect maritime vessels of any nationality and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all. CTF 151’s area of operation encompasses 1.1 million square miles in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.
CMF 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 Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf.