“It’s reported that this joint field exercise has achieved much from cross-training to exercise in the field. Many military lessons, such as weapon training, counter-insurgency warfare, conventional warfare and civic actions have been learnt and exchanged for the benefits of troops from two countries.”
The closing address by Maj-Gen Kunnawut Mokaew, Commanding General 5th Infantry Division, Royal Thai Army cum Joint Exercise Chairman, summed up the bilateral military exercise between the Malaysian Army and the Royal Thai Army known as Land Exercise Thamal (Thailand – Malaysia) 21/2015, which took place from Tuesday, July 28 to Thursday, August 6. The joint exercise is conducted annually with each country taking turns to host the event.
Participating troops from Malaysia were sourced from the infantry elements of the 2nd Malaysian Infantry Division. This time, the exercise was designed on both conventional and counter-insurgency warfare settings, incorporating 30 per cent on humanitarian assistance disaster relief theories.
The 10-day training included a jungle warfare-orientated exercise in the thickly-wooded jungles around Lintang near Chemor and a civic action (jiwa murni) programme at Sekolah Agama Rakyat Lintang, Sungai Siput. In the goodwill effort, 150 troops from both armies painted and cleaned the flood-damaged school while Dato’ Haji Mohd Zolkafly bin Haji Harun, the Adun for Lintang, presented groceries to the poor and single mothers.
The closing ceremony held on Tuesday, August 4 at the Camp Syed Putra parade ground also saw the presentation of the Royal Thai Army Honorary Parachutist Badge to Brig-Gen Mohammad bin Ab Rahman, Commander 2nd Malaysian Infantry Brigade.
“We’ve achieved all objectives. Firstly, we learned how to do things differently. Secondly, there was cross-culture interaction between both armies. The highlight was jungle training in which the Thais witnessed our proficiency in jungle warfare. Incidentally, Malaysia is the only country in the world who managed to defeat communist terrorism,” said the brigade commander to Ipoh Echo.