British Army trains in jungle warfare with Thai Forces

Exercise PANTHER GOLD 21 coincided with UK Defence Minister Baroness Goldie’s visit to Thailand. Her visit this week focussed on enhancing cooperation between the UK and Thai Armed Forces. Baroness Goldie met with Thailand’s Deputy Defence Minister, General Chaichan Changmongkol and signed the first Memorandum of Understand (MoU) between the UK and Thailand to deepen and enhance our Defence cooperation.

The joint exercise saw Armed Forces training in jungle warfare tactics, navigation and survival techniques. UK and Thai troops worked side by side, learning from one and other’s skills and experience. Personnel on exercise also had the opportunity to train in Muay Thai – a martial art and combat sport practiced in Thailand.

Minister of State for Defence, Baroness Goldie said:

Thailand is an important Defence partner for the UK in the Indo-Pacific. We are determined to continue to work together with our respective skills and expertise, supporting our shared values and addressing regional security challenges and global threats.

This week’s joint exercise is a fantastic example of our troops working together, building their skills and capabilities in a harsh jungle environment.

The MoU will strengthen our relationship with Thailand, with opportunities for further joint exercises, regular bilateral talks and shared best practice.

Baroness Goldie is the first UK Minister to address Thailand’s prestigious National Defence College. She also hosted a reception and roundtable event to promote the British Defence industry in Thailand.

The enhanced cooperation between the UK and Thailand is part of the Government’s Indo-Pacific tilt outlined in the Integrated Review published in March 2021. The Indo-Pacific is an important region for the UK’s security interests, and we continue to build our relationships with like-minded partners who share our challenges and common threats.

The Defence Command Paper emphasised the need to improve the Armed Forces’ ability to operate in harsh environment around the world. This ambition is being delivered through exercises such as PANTHER GOLD 2021

Major Bayliss, Officer Commanding Support Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards said:

PANTHER GOLD is a demanding and challenging exercise being delivered in the northern jungles of Thailand.

The emphasis is on building our soldiers’ confidence in operating in this hostile environment and also building stronger relations with our Thai partners.

We can learn much from the Royal Thai Army and their ability to live and fight in the jungle. It isn’t all work – our visit here is also as soldier ambassadors, to learn more about Asian culture and to deepen our understanding of the country.

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