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Royal Thai Navy Officers Experience Life Aboard Harpers Ferry

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070624-05
Release Date: 6/24/2007 12:04:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mark Alvarez, USS Harpers Ferry Public Affairs

SATTAHIP, Thailand (NNS) -- USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) arrived in Thailand on June 18 to begin the second phase of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2007.

Harpers Ferry departed the Republic of the Philippines on June 11 with six Royal Thai Navy officers emabarked to increase the understanding and interoperability between the two navies.

Four other Royal Thai Navy officers were embarked aboard the guided-missile frigates USS Jarrett (FFG 33) and USS Ford (FFG 54), both of which are taking part in CARAT along with Harpers Ferry.

According to Lt. j.g. Peter Lesaca, Harpers Ferry’s navigation officer, this crossdeck training should prove invaluable for the upcoming Thai phase of CARAT.

For seven days, the Thai officers embarked aboard Harpers Ferry observed everything from drills and exercises to the day-to-day, routine operations of the ship and its crew.

One of the unexpected highlights for the Thai officers was the ship’s nightly operations and intelligence briefs, where the next day’s series of events are coordinated. These briefs, which are routine to Harpers Ferry, proved to be a big hit with the Thai officers.

“I really enjoyed the evening briefs about the next day’s events,” said Royal Thai Navy Lt. Kittipsan Chaisii. “This type of daily planning is something I will bring back and hopefully implement in the Thai Navy.”

The officers’ mission was to observe all of the various evolutions of an amphibious warship in the Pacific Fleet, with the idea of bringing back some of the ideas and practices of the U.S. Navy to the Royal Thai Navy.

“We enjoyed working with our Thai Navy counterparts,” said Harpers Ferry Commanding Officer Cmdr. David L. Bossert. “I think both nations would like to see our alliance grow stronger and what we are doing here is helping to ensure that.”

USS Harpers Ferry is currently participating in CARAT 2007, which is an annual series of bilateral maritime training exercises between the United States and six Southeast Asia nations designed to build relationships and enhance the operational readiness of the participating forces. Harpers Ferry is the flagship for CARAT 2007 with Destroyer Squadron 1 embarked.



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