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Sattahip / U-Tapao

Sattahip, Thailand is located at approximately 1237'30''N 10055'00"E in the northern portion of the Gulf of Thailand. Sattahip is 20-min south of Pattaya. Sattahip's commercial port, called Juksamet Port, is located in Chuk Samet Bay in the southeast part of Sattahip Bay. Sattahip Bay is relatively shallow, with depths of 10 to 13 ft (3 to 4 m) prevailing over most of its extent, although depths of less than 6.5 ft (2 m) exist in some places.

Sattahip/Pattaya is a four-hour drive southeast of Bangkok, Thailand. US ships call at the Royal Thai Naval Base in Sattahip, Thailand for liberty and relaxation. Once ashore, the crew have only a short bus ride to one of the most popular liberty spots in Asia: Pattaya Beach. Pattaya is home to world-class hotels, lively people, shopping, and beautiful scenery.

Although there is plenty to see and do in Pattaya Beach, many Sailors take advantage of the outstanding MWR support and participated in numerous tours and activities. Among the most popular tours was a two-day adventure to Bangkok and then to the site of the "Bridge Over the River Kwai". The bridge, made famous by the 1950s movie of the same name, was built by Allied prisoners-of-war so that the Imperial Japanese Army could have continuous supply lines running from Singapore through Bangkok and eventually west to their ultimate goal of India. Thousands of British, Australian, American, and Dutch prisoners died from malnutrition and abysmal conditions while living in the prison camp and working on the bridge. Besides visiting the still-standing bridge, the tour also takes Sailors to a museum and a cemetery for those who perished as POWs.

The River Kwai tour, along with several other tours provided by MWR, also gives Sailors the opportunity to experience parts of Thailand that are not seen as often by visiting Sailors. Included are trips to Buddhist temples, bouts of Thai kickboxing, and the chance to spend a night in Bangkok, Thailand's capital city. From relaxing in luxury hotels to venturing into the Thai backcountry, there was something for everyone ashore.

Juksamet Port has five primary berths. Berths 1, 2, and 3 are located on the west side of the rectangular port facility, and Berths 4 and 5 are located on the north side. A sixth berth, Berth 0, is located on the south side, but it is not normally used to berth large vessels. Berths 1, 2, and 3 have a total length of 1,772 ft (540 m), and are used exclusively by Royal Thai Navy (RTN) ships. As of a 1997 port visit, the RTN berthed a Knox class frigate, and a Foqing class (Chinese Peoples Republic class) oiler at Berths 1-3. The Spanish-built RTN helicopter carrier Chakkrinaruebet, a newly constructed vessel that completed sea trials in February 1997, arrived by late 1997. It is also moored at Berths 1, 2, or 3. Alongside depth at Berths 1-3 is 31 ft (9.5 m). Berths 4 and 5 are 1,083 ft (330 m) long, with a 28 ft (8.5 m) alongside depth.

If U.S. Navy ships were to use Juksamet Port, they would be assigned to Berths 4 and/or 5. The alongside depth of Berth 0 varies by location, but according to DMA Chart 93247, depths less than 20 ft (6 m) prevail along the eastern three fourths of its approximate 810 ft (247 m) length. Deck height of all piers at the port is 18 ft (5.5 m) above mean lower low water (MLLW).

A 1,080 yd (988 m) long breakwater extends southeastward from Mu Island. The breakwater provides significant protection to ships moored to Berths 1, 2 and 3 from the southwesterly sea conditions that prevail over the Gulf of Thailand during the months of April to October. The breakwater is of rip rap construction, and is approximately 13 to 16 ft (4 to 5 m) high. A 500 yd (457 m) long pipeline trestle extends southwestward from the south part of Juksamet Port It is raised above the water surface on pilings and offers no protection from wave motion to Berth 0.

Pilots are required for all non-RTN ships arriving at or departing from the port. A total of three pilots are available to service Juksamet Port and Map Ta Phut Port, a small petrochemical facility located east of Juksamet Port at 1240'N 10109'E. Three commercial tug boats, rated at 3200 hp, 3000 hp, and 2500 hp, are available to service both ports. When pilots and/or tug boats are required at Juksamet Port, they may need to transit from Map Ta Phut Port. Consequently, a short delay may be experienced after requesting their services.

No repair facilities existed at Juksamet Port during a 1997 port visit. A floating Hyundai drydock of unspecified size and capacity was under construction at the east end of Berth 5.

The RTN maintains a port facility at Laem Tien, across Sattahip Bay northwest from Juksamet Port. Laem Tien is situated on Kong Kang Bay between Tao Mo and Phra Islands and the mainland. The facility is small, and accommodates only small coastal patrol boats. Entrance to Laem Tien is gained from the west through a narrow channel passing between Tao Mo Island and the mainland. A large breakwater protects the Laem Tien facility from southwesterly seas that prevail over the Gulf of Thailand during the April to October period.

The 219 yd (200 m) wide entrance channel to Juksamet Port begins between Buoys 1 and 2, approximately 1.6 nmi south-southwest of the sound end of Berth 1. The channel has an entrance heading of 01736' and passes between the ends of the breakwater and the pipeline trestle discussed in Section 2.2. An entrance buoy is located at 1235'14"N 10054'18"E, approximately 1,200 yd (1,097 m) south-southwest of Buoys 1 and 2. Charted depths in the channel vary from 29 ft (8.9 m) to 49 ft (15 m), but most depths are in the 29.5 to 33 ft (9 to 10 m) range.

U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Air Base is located on the Gulf of Siam approximately 100 kilometers south of the capital city of Bangkok. U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield was a forward operating base for B-52 Stratofortresses and KC-135 Stratotankers of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). Originally designed to support an aerial refueling mission and troop transport squadron, the mission has since been amended to include support for Strategic Air Command B-52 bombers in their daily strikes against enemy targets in Southeast Asia. Beginning construction in October 1965, the airfield was considered one of the finest in Southeast Asia slightly more than two years later. First on the airfield construction priorities were the aerodrome facilities, including an 11,000-foot runway, which became serviceable on 6 July 1966.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 13:32:43 ZULU