U.S. Army and Royal Thai Army (RTA) paratroopers will participate in a joint Strategic Airborne Operation (SAO) landing at Fort Thanarat in Prachuap Khiri Khan following paratrooper training exercises hosted and fully funded by U.S. Army Pacific Command at Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), Washington. The training exercise and SAO will be conducted with strict COVID-19 health protocols in place.
U.S. Army Pacific Command will host 120 RTA soldiers at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington from February 11-23. The joint exercise will enhance the capabilities of both Thai and U.S. paratroopers, train participants on T-11 parachutes, and improve operational readiness for both U.S. and Thai personnel.
The training will conclude with a Strategic Airborne Operation landing at the Fort Thanarat Drop Zone on February 24, where the RTA soldiers will be joined by 115 U.S. paratroopers from the 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska. The Thai and U.S. paratroopers will fly together directly from Washington State to Thailand aboard U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster transportation aircraft. U.S. and Thai paratroopers are subject to a strict, seven-day COVID-19 quarantine and screening regimen upon landing in Thailand. Thai and U.S. troops will remain in a secure area on Fort Thanarat, in compliance with Royal Thai Government COVID-19 mitigation measures and will have no contact with the local population or anyone outside this bubble throughout these seven days.
This joint exercise is part of regular and ongoing training between the United States Department of Defense and Royal Thai Armed Forces. The interoperability of our forces is a cornerstone of the U.S.-Thai security alliance – an alliance that is rooted in a shared commitment to preserve a peaceful, prosperous, and secure region. Working together, the United States and Thailand can tackle the complex challenges of the future that no single country can solve alone.