News: Marines conduct non-lethal training in Thailand
CHONBURI, Thailand - U.S. Marines and the Royal Thai military and police are participating in the Non-lethal Weapons Executive Seminar 2011 in Chonburi, Thailand, from May 29 to June 8 in an effort to enhance current non-lethal tactics and procedures.
Marines out of Okinawa, Japan, from Special Operations Training Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, are taking part in the training, along with 150 of their Thai counterparts, to train in baton techniques, crowd control measures, non-lethal communication skills and the use of oleoresin capsicum spray or pepper spray.
“This training is very helpful in deterring bad people,” said Royal Thai Army Capt. Ak Ka Sit Nongnvch of the 21st Regiment, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Division, Queen Guard. “By practicing some of these techniques, we gain confidence in utilizing it effectively.”
The Marines were thrilled to have the opportunity to share the training with the Thai military.
"I enjoy the aspect of being able to teach the knowledge that I've learned during my time in the Marine Corps,” said Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Turner, a native of Alliance, Ohio, and currently assigned to SOTG, III MEF. “It’s an excellent opportunity to share it with other services and our partner nations.”
The Royal Thai Police receive training in crowd control techniques, but NOLES 11 provided the Royal Thai Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines with unique opportunities, which created an exclusive training environment.
“We trust America and we know the training that they conduct is among the best,” said Royal Thai Army Col. Wandee Tosuwan, the deputy director for the Electronic and Communication Division & Military Research and Development Centre Thailand. “To work with the U.S. Marines is to work with the best.”
Participants were sprayed with pepper spray during a riot control training scenario to make those who may be exposed to the spray aware of the effects of the non-lethal, yet potent, solution.
“It was painful when the pepper spray first hit my eyes—I knew I had a mission to accomplish so I pressed forward with my task,” said Nongnvch referring to the riot control course participants had to go through when sprayed. “Once done, I treated my eyes for the pepper spray exposure.”
Like with most training, there were some challenges to overcome.
"When working with another country, language barriers can sometimes slow things down,” said Turner.
The professionals from both nations, however, found common grounds with their counterparts, which led to a successful evolution.
“Some of the things we teach are pretty standard in any language, so it all works out in the long run,” said Turner.
Non-lethal weapons are explicitly designed to incapacitate equipment and personnel while minimizing fatalities and permanent injury. This capability is preferred during rescue missions, force protection in civil disturbances, riot control or in situations when civilians are used to mask a military provocation.
“This type of training helps our police and soldiers control a situation when dealing with bad people and crowds. Good technique will minimize harm,” added Tosuwan.
A multinational seminar will be held from June 8 to 10 in Bangkok after the bilateral training is complete.
"It will be good to see the final product at the conclusion of training and witness the Royal Thai military and police put together all of the advanced training,” said Turner. “The final demonstration will be conducted for their superiors as well as some foreign representatives that are interested in the training as well.”
Non-lethal capabilities vary across nations and NOLES 11 seeks to improve the interoperability among partner nations.
Date Posted:06.03.2011 06:36
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