Stryker unit seeks boost at war drill

Stryker unit seeks boost at war drill

Gen Songwit Nunphakdi, head of the general staff to the Office of the Commanding General, left, visits Joint Base Lewis–McChord in Washington for a parachute-jumping drill and for talks on cooperation in further developing Thailand's Stryker Regiment. Photo courtesy of Royal Thai Army
Gen Songwit Nunphakdi, head of the general staff to the Office of the Commanding General, left, visits Joint Base Lewis–McChord in Washington for a parachute-jumping drill and for talks on cooperation in further developing Thailand's Stryker Regiment. Photo courtesy of Royal Thai Army

The Thai military has discussed possible cooperation with the United States on further developing the Thai Stryker unit into a world-leading force, according to an army source.

A military delegation led by Gen Songwit Nunphakdi, head of the general staff to the Office of the Commanding General, recently spoke to its US counterpart on the sidelines of the Strategic Airborne Operations drill in the US, the source said on Wednesday.

The military exercise with a key focus on parachute jumping runs from Feb 11-23 at Joint Base Lewis–McChord (JBLM), a US military installation in Washington.

Col Akkharaphat Thepnarong, deputy chief of the 112th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Stryker Regiment, was among key members of the Thai delegation and the accompanying talks, the source said.

The Thai side learned from the US army's experience in developing its own Stryker unit, as part of a policy introduced by army chief Gen Narongpan Jitkaewtae.

Gen Narongpan has pushed to keep modernising the Thai army's Stryker regiment with new technology.

The unit was the brainchild of former army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong, who focused on modernising and improving the professionalism of the military, said the source.

He expected the Thai Stryker unit to be further developed into a force similar to a brigade combat team in the world's leading armies.

The Royal Thai Army sent 120 troops to the United States to take part in the drill, part of the Hanuman Guardian 2022 war exercises between the two sides.

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