ZHANJIANG, May 8 (ChinaMil) -- Chinese and Thai naval ships participating in the China-Thai joint naval drill, code-named Blue Commando-2019, embarked on the nighttime ocean encounter training after successfully completing communication exercises, formation replenishment-at-sea and sea area control and target recognition for maritime awareness on Monday evening.
“Serious enemy threat detected in our sailing area. Get ready to fight immediately!” The formation command post sent an order to the ships at around 8 p.m. All ships immediately sounded the combat alarm and officers and soldiers quickly arrived at their posts, entering combat state.
“In the complex situation where the battlefield environment is unknown, the most crucial thing in the maritime encounter is preemptive detection and firing in the shortest time possible,” said Lyu Yongjun, captain of the Chinese landing platform dock (LPD) vessel Wuzhishan (Hull 987).
This drill was organized by the Thai side. The commander of the Thai participating forces at the joint command post quickly organized the ships to form a defensive formation to strictly guard the sea area. The radar antenna was rotating at a high speed, and the instructions in the command post are quickly transmitted, emerging a strong combat atmosphere everywhere. The formation attacked the harassing mock enemy after the target was identified.
The joint training process adopted a high-intensity encounter mode. In the continuous training lasting for more than 10 hours, the command post released the simulation target according to contingency scenario. There is no predetermined plan, and the ships have to independently judge the mock enemy and jointly fight against it. The training has improved the joint operational capabilities of the Chinese and Thai navies.
Li Xiaocheng, the Chinese chief of staff of the joint command center, said that although it is the first time for China and Thailand to organize a joint maritime encounter drill and there are many practical difficulties, the two sides cooperated very well thanks to the complete operation scheme and tactical table-top development.
The Chinese and Thai participating ships also organized formation training in a certain sea area on Tuesday morning. The Chinese landing platform dock (LPD) vessel Wuzhishan (Hull 987), guided-missile frigates Yueyang (Hull 575) and Guangyuan (Hull 552) and a submarine sail in formation with the Thai Navy frigates HTMS Naresuan (FFG 421) and Bangpakong (FFG-456), and constantly changed formations in waves.
According to Lyu, the participating ships have changed between single column formation, line abreast formation and double column formation. Each type of formation corresponds to a set of tactical actions and both parties must act strictly within the predetermined plan to ensure uniform and order, added Lyu.