Soldiers leaving for training in US

Soldiers leaving for training in US

Thai soldiers begin the disease control process at Suvarnabhumi airport after returning from the military exercise in Hawaii in July. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Thai soldiers begin the disease control process at Suvarnabhumi airport after returning from the military exercise in Hawaii in July. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

A total of 189 soldiers will depart on Saturday for a month-long evaluation course in the United States, following the recent joint drill in Hawaii.

Col Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokeswoman, said on Thursday the soldiers would go to  the US Army's Joint Readiness Training Centre in Louisiana.

The training course was from Oct 3-Nov 1. The soldiers were from the 2nd Army and the Special Warfare Command, and most had taken part in the Lightning Forge 2020 drill in Hawaii in July. The course in Louisiana would evaluate their performance.

US, Indonesian and Thai soldiers would take part in the exercise.

Col Sirichan said the Thai soldiers had been well coached in protecting themselves from coronavirus disease. They had been quarantined for five days and would be tested for Covid-19 before departing on a chartered flight on Saturday.

In the US, they would stay in designated areas and would not meet anybody who did not pass a Covid-19 test.

The soldiers would return to Thailand on Nov 2, when they would go through a disease control process set by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Col Sirichan said.

The army was well aware of the Covid-19 pandemic, but military training was necessary for military development, she added.

Nine of the 151 soldiers who took part in the drill in Hawaii tested positive for Covid-19 on their return. This prompted the army to suspend overseas trips by its soldiers.


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