Drone warfare tops training agenda

Drone warfare tops training agenda

Commanders meet to map out year ahead

Drone warfare tops training agenda
A drone developed by the Defence Technology Institute through a public-private partnership programme takes flight. (File photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

More training in counter-drone technology and techniques will be incorporated into armed forces’ exercises and drills this year, a joint meeting of commanders of the Royal Thai Armed Forces and Royal Thai Police was told on Tuesday.

Chaired by Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Songwit Noonpackdee, the meeting was attended by all the armed forces’ top brass and the national police chief, who presented and discussed the plans for further building the capacity of the armed and police forces until 2027.

It is essential for the armed forces to incorporate training in counter-drone technology and intelligence gathering, Gen Songwit told Tuesday’s meeting.

The meeting was held ahead of a new joint exercise involving civilians, police and soldiers, which kicks off today. This annual joint exercise will be followed by Cobra Gold 2024, which will be conducted in military areas under the First Army Region’s control and the Gulf of Thailand.

After the 43rd Cobra Gold, a new annual joint exercise focused on defence, in particular on Thailand’s western territorial side, will also be rolled out.

The navy will begin its training calendar with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) instruction on April 1-5 in Koh Phangan district in Surat Thani.

A second set of navy exercises is slated for May 7-15 at sea, while the third and last part is planned to be conducted on May 20-24 in the Gulf of Thailand.

The air force will also join major exercises, including Cobra Gold 2024, Cope Tiger 2024, Pitch Black 2024, Falcon Strike 2024 and Sarex 2024, while the Royal Thai Police will seek to enhance its capacity to fight drug trafficking along river borders and terrorist activities in urban settings such as on Bangkok’s electric rail systems.