Royal Thai Navy (RTN) Ships HTMS Bangpakong, Makutrajakumarn and Pattani, commanded by Captain Niwat Jitpoolphol, Commander Nattapon Sungkitboon and Commander Banchong Natewang respectively, visited Kochi from April 10-12, 2018. Rear Admiral Sompong Poowiang, Chief of Staff at the RTN Academy and presently the Commanding Officer of RTN Cadet Training Unit was also embarked on board the visiting RTN Ships, along with 381 naval cadets from the Academy. On April 11, 2018, the RTN Flag Officer, accompanied by the Commanding Officers of the visiting RTN ships and the resident DA, Embassy of Thailand, New Delhi called on Vice Admiral AR Karve, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Southern Naval Command (SNC).
During the current visit at Kochi, the RTN delegates visited Indian Navy training facilities viz. Navigation and Direction School, Water Survival Training Facility, Damage Control Training Facility, and Flight and Tactical Simulator. The visiting foreign dignitaries also held discussions with other IN Flag Officers, Senior Officers and the Training Staff on IN Training, during their visit to Headquarters of SNC. Sports fixtures were also held, which included a friendly football match, volleyball match and golf, all of which saw active participation from both sides.
India's bilateral relations with Thailand have historical social and cultural roots and linkages through extensive people-to-people contact. In the past two decades, with regular political exchanges, growing trade and investment, India's ties with Thailand have evolved into a comprehensive partnership. Interaction between the Indian Navy and Royal Thai Navy has progressed at a steady pace since 2005, when the two navies commenced biannual Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) along their shared maritime boundary in the Andaman Sea against illegal poaching, smuggling and piracy. Being maritime neighbours, the two nations and navies also share a common vision in promoting maritime cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region, as is evident through the RTN's regular participation in the MILAN series of biennial meets and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).
The RTN ships departed for Singapore on April 12, 2018.