By Sun Xingwei and Yan Su
SATTAHIP, Thailand, Sept. 11 -- The China-Thailand Blue Strike-2023 joint naval training exercise concluded on September 9. On the morning of September 10, the Chinese PLA naval vessels that participated in the joint exercise, including the amphibious dock landing ship Simingshan, the guided-missile frigate Anyang, and the comprehensive supply ship Chaohu, left the port of Sattahip and set sail for their return journey.
The joint exercise highlighted unity, practicality, and combat readiness. It demonstrated a high level of trust and deep integration in training on joint command, joint anti-submarine operation, helicopter cross-deck landing, mutual presence aboard each other’s ships, jungle survival, urban combat, and helicopter fast-roping, etc. The exercise emphasized the importance of actual combat, and effectively enhanced the combat capabilities of both sides.
The closing ceremony was held on the Thai Navy's Chao Phraya vessel on September 9. Rear Admiral Chen Weidong, commander of the Chinese participating troops and deputy commander of the Chinese PLA Navy’s Marine Corps, said that since the first Blue Strike joint exercise between the two navies in 2010, the range of training contents has been expanded from the Marine Corps to naval fleet, and the composition of forces expanded from one single branch to multiple branches of naval forces. Through joint training and mutual exchanges, both sides achieved the purpose of mutual learning and reference. The joint exercise has had a positive impact on improving the combat capabilities of participating troops, enhancing their capability to jointly respond to regional security threats, and further deepening military cooperation and exchanges between China and Thailand.
Rear Admiral Arpha Chapanon, commander of the Thai participating troops and chief of the commando carrier fleet, Royal Thai Navy, said that the joint exercise was a complete success thanks to the cooperation and joint efforts of the participating personnel. The joint exercise not only provided an opportunity for mutual learning and exchange but also promoted cultural exchanges between the two countries, which would undoubtedly further strengthen the bilateral friendly relations.
Chinese and Thai naval fleets conduct replenishment-at-sea during the China-Thailand Blue Strike-2023 joint naval training exercise on September 8. (Photo by Li Hao/Xinhua)
A Thai helicopter prepares to land on the flight deck of the Chinese vessel during the China-Thailand Blue Strike-2023 joint naval training exercise on September 7. (Photo by Sun Xingwei/Xinhua)
Snipers from both sides exchange experiences during the China-Thailand Blue Strike-2023 joint naval training exercise on September 4. (Photo by Sun Xingwei/Xinhua)
A Thai sniper applies camouflage face paint to a Chinese sniper for camouflage penetration operation during the China-Thailand Blue Strike-2023 joint naval training exercise on September 5. (Photo by Gao Guojing/Xinhua)
Chinese naval officers and soldiers participating in the Blue Strike-2023 joint naval training exercise man the rails aboard a Chinese vessel and leave the Sattahip Port on September 10 after completing their mission.