Senior leaders with U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) and the Royal Thai Army (RTA) joined together for a Stryker handover ceremony Sept. 12, 2019 at the RTA Headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand. During the ceremony, the first batch of U.S. Army Strykers were presented to the RTA as part of a foreign military sales purchase agreement.
Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of USARPAC, provided the opening remarks during the ceremony.
"I am very proud to be here today with our tremendous alliance; to have Thailand be the first to receive this excellent vehicle and to modernize the RTA and ensure their soldiers and citizens are protected and ready for any situation," said Brown.
Brown congratulated the RTA on the acquisition, and said he was looking forward to future training between both armies.
"We are excited to partner our Stryker units with the Royal Thai Army Stryker; both will improve and get better, both will help with peace and security, both will help save lives in many situations," said Brown.
"Congratulations on modernizing the Thai Army and receiving the first Strykers outside the United States; we are very excited to continue to work together, and [strengthen our alliance] towards a free and open Indo-Pacific, where all nations can enjoy prosperity and a brighter future."
Gen. Apirat Kongsompong, commander-in-chief of the RTA, followed Brown's remarks, and spoke on the symbolic nature of the Stryker handover.
"These Strykers will not only enhance the RTA capacity, but will also act as a tangible symbol of friendship, and a witness to the cordial relations between two countries that continue to strengthen alliances and partnerships," said Apirat. "Today's handover ceremony is an important step for the RTA modernization effort, and the development of RTA doctrine."
Apirat also thanked Brown for his work on the acquisition process, and said he hoped the U.S.-RTA alliance would continue to be strengthened in the future.
"On behalf of the RTA, I would like to extend my gratitude to General Brown and everyone who was involved in the success of this project," said Apirat. "It is my highest hope that this great synergy will be sustained into the future and we shall continue to strengthen our alliances, partnerships, and enhance regional strategic networks for the security of this region."
The U.S.-Thailand alliance is the longest U.S. treaty relationship in Asia. This alliance continues to be strengthened today through security cooperation events, military-to-military training events such as Cobra Gold and Hanuman Guardian, and the just concluded Indo-Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference and the Pacific Armies Management Seminar.
The Stryker agreement serves as a very visible symbol of the alliance, and provides the RTA with a mix of capabilities including infantry transport and reconnaissance; all in a platform that has been
combat-tested with significant survivability and capability.
The Styker handover also demonstrates the U.S. Army's steadfast commitment to addressing the full spectrum of security challenges in the Indo-Pacific with our allies and partners.