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NEWS | Jan. 21, 2024

U.S. INDOPACOM Commander Travels to Thailand

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Public Affairs

BANGKOK — Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, traveled to Thailand Jan. 17-20, where he met with Thai Minister of Defence Sutin Klungsang, Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) Chief of Defence Gen. Songwit Noonpackdee, and U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Robert F. Godec, reinforcing the enduring U.S.-Thailand alliance and enhancing collaboration towards a free, open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.   

In their meetings, the Thailand civilian and military leadership and Adm. Aquilino discussed their shared commitment to key priorities such as maritime security, cyber security, military modernization, and continuing to expand partnership through joint capacity enhancement and interoperability. The leaders committed to increased military-to-military planning and activity, including the expansion of COBRA GOLD exercises. The multilateral, joint command and control and field training exercise is hosted annually by the two countries and includes humanitarian and disaster relief training, as well as a focus on the cyber domain.

While in Bangkok, Aquilino participated in an honors ceremony at RTARF Headquarters with Air Chief Marshal Chanon Mungthanya. The visit not only showcased strategic alignment and initiatives, but also highlighted the deep appreciation and strength within the U.S.-Thai relationship, which dates back to 1833.

In a ceremony held at Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group, Thailand, Aquilino also honored former RTARF Chief of Defence Gen. Chalermpol Srisawasdi with the Legion of Merit, Degree of Commander, for his vital role in fortifying the alliance between the U.S. and Thailand. Established by an Act of Congress on Jul. 20, 1942, the Legion of Merit stands as the highest accolade the U.S. can bestow upon a foreign leader. 

As enduring friends, military allies and economic partners, the U.S. and Thailand remain steadfast in safeguarding regional security and sovereignty in support of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific region.

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