US Navy seeking closer links
The United States Navy is seeking closer ties and cooperation with naval forces in the Asia Pacific to help handle maritime security, US Pacific fleet commander Admiral Gary Roughead said yesterday.
Roughead was visiting Thailand for talks with his Thai counterpart, Admiral Sathiraphan Keyanond, and senior military officers, including Defence Ministry permanent secretary General Sirichai Tanyasiri.
On the agenda was a wide range of cooperation between the naval forces of Thailand and the US, including the annual joint naval exercise, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, and the joint military drill Cobra Gold.
The US Pacific fleet commander said naval forces in the Pacific needed to strengthen cooperation to combat many maritime threats, including trans-national criminal activities on the high seas.
These include piracy and trafficking in drugs, humans and weapons and the common concern about their prevalence suggests that naval forces in the region should strengthen cooperation and exchange information on how to combat them, he said.
"Looking at these [criminal activities], they all tend to use the same methodology," he said.
"If they can commit one crime, they can easily commit another one.
"So I think its important to get to them, to know what they have in common and how to pass information to those who are operating in the area and can do something about this," Roughead said.
The US admiral applauded Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, for their joint effort to handle maritime security in the Malacca Strait. If requested, the US is willing to provide assistance to any countries involved in the region's maritime security, he said.