Royal Thai Army
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Royal Thai Army

Royal Thai Army
Royal Thai Army Seal.svg
Emblem of the Royal Thai Army
Founded8 May 1874 (147 years)
CountryThailand
AllegianceRama X
TypeArmy
RoleGround warfare
Size245,000 (est.)[1]
Part ofMinistry of Defence
Royal Thai Armed Forces
HQRoyal Thai Army Headquarters, Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Motto(s) ? ("For the Nation, Religion, Monarchy, and People")
ColoursRed
March?
(Army March)
Anniversaries18 January
(Royal Thai Armed Forces Day)
Commanders
Commander-in-chiefGeneral Narongpan Jitkaewthae
Notable
commanders
Prince Damrong Rajanubhab
Prince Bhanurangsi Savangwongse
Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath
Prince Chirapravati Voradej
Phraya Phahonphonphayuhasena
Plaek Phibunsongkhram
Sarit Thanarat
Thanom Kittikachorn
Prem Tinsulanonda
Arthit Kamlang-ek
Isarapong Noonpakdee
Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
Suchinda Kraprayoon
Surayud Chulanont
Sonthi Boonyaratglin
Prayut Chan-o-cha
Apirat Kongsompong
Insignia
Royal Thai Army FlagRoyal Thai Army Flag.svg
Unit colourRoyal Thai Army Unit Colour.svg
Aircraft symbolRoundel of Thailand - Army Aviation.svg

The Royal Thai Army or RTA (Thai: ; RTGSkong thap bok thai) is the army of Thailand and the oldest and largest branch of the Royal Thai Armed Forces.

History

Origin

The Royal Thai Army is responsible for protecting the kingdom's sovereignty. The army was formed in 1874, partly as a response to new security threats following the 1855 Bowring Treaty with Britain, which opened the country for international trade.[2]

Current

On 22 May 2014 the army deposed the government, appointed military officers to the national assembly, and on 21 August 2014 they elected the army's Commander in Chief, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, as prime minister. The general retired October 2014[3] to concentrate on political reform which he said would take at least a year, following which he promised national elections would be held.[4]

In modern era, the army has a long history of coups d'état and coup attempts. Its leadership continues to see coup-making as one role of the army.[5][6][7]

The existence of an information warfare unit participating in a cyber campaign against government critics was leaked to the public in late February 2020.[8] In 2020 Twitter shut down a network of accounts which were engaged in information warfare. According to Twitter "Our investigation uncovered a network of accounts partaking in information operations that we can reliably link to the Royal Thai Army (RTA)."[9] The operation had targeted the political opposition within Thailand. The Thai Army denied that they had been involved in the disinformation operation.[10]

Army components and control

The Ministry of Defence, Bangkok

The number of army generals is unclear. One point of comparison: as of 1 November 2019, the US Army had 322 general officers[11]:2 for a force of 471,990 troops.[12] Saiyud Kerdphol is Thailand's oldest general, a veteran of World War II and Korea who retired in 1983 as supreme commander. During his tenure, general officer numbers were based on the number of troops under their command. As of 2019, only 150-200 four-star generals occupy command positions. Speaking on the topic of army manpower, Saiyud declared that, "Everybody being a general is unbelievable. Full generals don't have a seat to sit in or a job to do."[13]

Command Component

  • Royal Thai Army Headquarters
  • Office of the Army Secretary
  • Staff Directorates
  • Special Affairs Directors
  • Technical Service Department

Education, Training, and Doctrine Component

Combat Support Component

  • Artillery Division
  • Air Defence Command
  • Engineer Division
  • Army Military Intelligence Command
  • Chemical Company
  • 51st Combat Engineer Battalion
  • 1st Signal Regiment
  • Army Military Intelligence Command
  • Chemical Company

Logistics Component

  • Engineer Department
  • Royal Thai Army Ordnance Department
  • Royal Thai Army Medical Department
  • Post Engineer Department
  • Chemical Department
  • Signal Department
  • Quartermaster Department
  • Army Transportation Department
  • Army Veterinary and Remount Department

Development Component

  • Engineer Division

Command and control

The Royal Thai Army is commanded by the Commander of the Royal Thai Army ().
This position is considered the most powerful position in the Thai Armed Forces. As of 1 October 2020, the commander is General Narongpan Jitkaewthae.

  • Commander-in-Chief: General Narongpan Jitkaewthae from 1 October 2020
  • Deputy Commander-in-Chief: General Teerawat Boonyawat from 1 October 2020.
  • Chairman of the Royal Thai Army Advisory Board: General Dhanes Galapruek from 1 October 2020
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief: General Pornsak Poolsawat from 1 October 2020.
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief: General Thammanoon Withee from 1 October 2020.
  • Chief of Staff of the Army: General Worakiat Ratananont from 1 October 2020.
  • Senior Army Advisor: General Tanya Kiatisarn from 1 October 2020
  • Senior Army Advisor: General Natthawut Chunhanan from 1 October 2020
  • Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief: General Punlop Fuangfoo from 1 October 2020
  • Deputy Chief of Staff: Lieutenant General Ayut Srivises from 1 October 2020
  • Deputy Chief of Staff: Lieutenant General Chanavut Budkinnaree from 1 October 2020
  • Deputy Chief of Staff: Lieutenant General Songwit Noonpakdee from 1 October 2020
  • Deputy Chief of Staff: Lieutenant General Chetta Trongdee from 1 October 2020
  • Deputy Chief of Staff: Lieutenant General Santipong Thampiya from 1 October 2020
  • Army Comptroller: Lieutenant General Noppadol Chandapradab from 1 October 2020
  • Commander of the 1st Army Area: Lieutenant General Jaroenchai Hintao from 1 October 2020
  • Commander of the 2nd Army Area: Lieutenant General Thanet Wongcha-um from 1 October 2020
  • Commander of the 3rd Army Area: Lieutenant General Apichet Suthana from 1 October 2020
  • Commander of the 4th Army Area: Lieutenant General Kriangkrai Srirak from 1 October 2020
  • Commander of the Royal Thai Army Special Warfare Command: Lieutenant General Phumipat Chansawang from 1 October 2020
  • Director, Directorate of Personnel, Royal Thai Army: Lieutenant General Manaschai Sripajan from 1 October 2020
  • Director, Directorate of Intelligence, Royal Thai Army: Lieutenant General Terdsak Dumkhum from 1 October 2020
  • Director, Directorate of Operations, Royal Thai Army: Lieutenant General Ukrit Boontanont from 1 October 2020
  • Director, Directorate of Logistics, Royal Thai Army: Lieutenant General Chaimontree Photong from 1 October 2020
  • Director, Directorate of Civil Affairs, Royal Thai Army: Lieutenant General Piset Sirigasem from 1 October 2020

Structure

The army is organized nationally into four army areas:

King's Guard at Grand Palace
Royal Thai Army is located in Bangkok
First Army
First Army
1st Division, King's Guard
1st Division, King's Guard
2nd Cavalry Division
2nd Cavalry Division
Locations of the army's major units in Bangkok
Royal Thai Army is located in Thailand
First Army Area, 1st Division
First Army Area,
1st Division
Second Army Area, 3rd Infantry Division
Second Army Area, 3rd Infantry Division
Third Army Area, 4th Infantry Division
Third Army Area,
4th Infantry Division
Fourth Army Area
Fourth Army Area
11th Infantry Division
11th Infantry Division
6th Infantry Division
6th Infantry Division
Locations of the army's major units in Thailand
11th Infantry Regiment, King's Guard
Royal Thai Army welcome members of Cobra Gold 2016
  • First Army Area - (Thai: 1) - headquartered in Bangkok, controls troops in 26 provinces in central, eastern, western Thailand and Bangkok.[14]
    • 1st Division, King's Guard - (Thai: 1 ) (Bangkok)
    • 2nd Infantry Division, Queen's Guard - (Thai: 2 ) (Fort Phromyothi, Prachinburi Province)
      • 2nd Infantry Regiment, Queen Sirikit's Guard - (Thai: ? 2 ) - (aka "Burapha Payak" Thai: : Eastern tigers)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
      • 12th Infantry Regiment, Queen Sirikit's Guard - (Thai: ? 12 )
        • 1st Infantry Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
      • 21st Infantry Regiment, Queen Sirikit's Guard - (Thai: ? 21 ) - (aka "Thahan Suea Rachini" Thai: : the queen's tiger soldiers)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
      • 2nd Field Artillery Regiment, Queen Sirikit's Guard - (Thai: 2 )
        • 2nd Field Artillery Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
        • 12th Field Artillery Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
        • 21st Field Artillery Battalion, Queen Sirikit's Guard
        • 102nd Field Artillery Battalion,Queen Sirikit's Guard
      • Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Service Support Regiment - (Thai: 2)
      • 2nd Cavalry Squadron, Queen Sirikit's Guard - (Thai: ? 2 2 )
      • 30th Cavalry Squadron, 2nd Infantry Division, Queen Sirikit's Guard- (Thai: ? 30 2 )
      • 2nd Signal Corp Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Queen's Guard - (Thai: 2 2 )
      • 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Queen's Guard - (Thai: 2 2 )
      • 2nd Medical Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Queen's Guard - (Thai: 2 2 )
      • 2nd Anti-tank Company, 2nd Infantry Division, Queen's Guard - (Thai: 2 2 )
      • 12th Military Police Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Queen's Guard - (Thai: 2 2 )
      • 2nd Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols Company - (Thai: 2 2 )
    • 9th Infantry Division - (Thai: 9) (Fort Surasi, Kanchanaburi Province)
      • 9th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 9)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 19th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 19)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 29th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 29)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 9th Field Artillery Regiment - (Thai: 9)
        • 9th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 19th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 109th Field Artillery Battalion
      • 9th Service Support Regiment - (Thai: 9)
        • Transportation Battalion - (Thai: 9)
        • Maintenance Battalion - (Thai: 9)
        • Combat Medical Battalion - (Thai: 9)
      • 19th Cavalry Squadron - (Thai: ? 19 9)
      • 9th Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 9 9)
      • 9th Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 9 9)
      • 9th Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols Company - (Thai: 9 9)
    • 11th Infantry Division - (Thai: 11) (Fort Somdet Phra Nangklao, Chachoengsao Province)
      • 111th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 111)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment
      • 112nd Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 112)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment
      • Maintenance Battalion, Service Support Regiment, 11th Infantry Division - (Thai: 11)
    • 2nd Cavalry Division, King's Guard - (Thai: 2 ) (Bangkok)
      • 27th Cavalry Squadron, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 27 2 )
      • 29th Cavalry Squadron, King Bhumibol's Guard - (Thai: ? 29 ? )
      • 1st Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 1 )
        • 1st Cavalry Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 1 ? 1 )
        • 3nd Cavalry Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 3 ? 1 )
        • 17th Cavalry Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 17 ? 1 )
      • 4th Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 4 )
        • 5th Cavalry Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 5 ? 4 )
        • 11th Cavalry Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 11 ? 4 )
        • 25th Cavalry Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 25 ? 4 )
      • 5th Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 5 )
        • 20th Cavalry Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 20 ? 5 )
        • 23rd Cavalry Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 23 ? 5 )
        • 24th Cavalry Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: ? 24 ? 5 )
      • 12th Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 12 2 )
      • Logistic Battalion, 12th Service Support Regiment - (Thai: 12)
    • 1st Army Support Command - (Thai: 1)
      • 21st Logistic and Service Battalion - (Thai: 21 1)
      • 21st Maintenance Battalion - (Thai: 21 1)
      • 21st Ordnance Battalion - (Thai: 21 1)
      • 21st Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 21 1)
    • 1st Development Division - (Thai: ? 1)
      • 1st Development Regiment - (Thai: 2)
        • 1st Development Battalion - (Thai: 2)
      • 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, King's Guard - (Thai: 2 )
        • 52nd Combat Engineer Battalion, King's Guard - (Thai: 52 1 )
        • 112th Combat Engineer Battalion, King's Guard - (Thai: 112 1 )
    • Military District Commands - (Thai: ?)
      • 11th Military District - (Thai: ? 11)
      • 12th Military District - (Thai: ? 12)
      • 13th Military District- (Thai: ? 13)
      • 14th Military District- (Thai: ? 14)
      • 15th Military District - (Thai: ? 15)
      • 16th Military District - (Thai: ? 16)
      • 17th Military District - (Thai: ? 17)
      • 18th Military District- (Thai: ? 18)
      • 19th Military District - (Thai: ? 19)
      • 110th Military District - (Thai: ? 110)
  • Second Army Area (Thai: 2) - headquartered in Nakhon Ratchasima and is responsible for the northeastern quadrant.
    • 3rd Infantry Division - (Thai: 3) (Fort Suranari, Nakhon Ratchasima Province )
      • 3rd Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 3)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 8th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 8)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 13th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 13)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 3rd Field Artillery Regiment - (Thai: 3)
        • 3rd Field Artillery Battalion
        • 8th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 13th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 103th Field Artillery Battalion
      • 3rd Reconnaissance Cavalry Company - (Thai: 3 3)
      • 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 3 3)
      • 3rd Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 3 3)
      • 3rd Combat Medical Battalion - (Thai: 3 3)
      • 3rd Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols Company - (Thai: 3 3)
    • 6th Infantry Division - (Thai: 6) (Fort King Phutthayodfa Chulalok Maharat, Roi Et Province)
      • 6th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 6)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 16th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 16)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 23rd Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 23)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 6th Field Artillery Regiment - (Thai: 6)
        • 6th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 16th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 23rd Field Artillery Battalion
        • 106th Field Artillery Battalion
      • 6th Reconnaissance Cavalry Company - (Thai: 6 6)
      • 6th Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 6 6)
      • 6th Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 6 6)
      • 6th Combat Medical Battalion - (Thai: 6 6)
      • 6th Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols Company - (Thai: 6 6)
    • 3rd Cavalry Division - (Thai: 3) (Fort Tinsulanonda, Khon Kaen Province)
      • 6th Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 6)
        • 6th Cavalry Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 6 ? 6 )
        • 21st Cavalry Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 21 ? 6)
      • 7th Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 7)
        • 8th Cavalry Squadron, 7h Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 8 ? 7)
        • 14th Cavalry Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 14 ? 7 )
    • 2nd Army Support Command - (Thai: 2)
      • 22nd Transportation Battalion - (Thai: 22 2)
      • 22nd Logistic and Service Battalion - (Thai: 22 2)
      • 22nd Maintenance Battalion - (Thai: 22 2)
      • 22nd Ordnance Battalion - (Thai: 22 2)
      • 22nd Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 22 2)
      • 22nd Combat Medical Battalion - (Thai: 22 2)
    • 2nd Development Division - (Thai: ? 2)
      • 2nd Development Regiment - (Thai: 2)
        • 2nd Development Battalion - (Thai: 2)
      • 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment - (Thai: 2)
        • 201st Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 201 2)
        • 202nd Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 202 2)
    • Military Districts - (Thai: ?)
      • 21st Military District - (Thai: ? 21)
      • 22nd Military District - (Thai: ? 22)
      • 23rd Military District - (Thai: ? 23)
      • 24th Military District- (Thai: ? 24)
      • 25th Military District - (Thai: ? 25)
      • 26th Military District - (Thai: ? 26)
      • 27th Military District - (Thai: ? 27)
      • 28th Military District- (Thai: ? 28)
      • 29th Military District - (Thai: ? 29)
      • 210th Military District - (Thai: ? 210)
  • Third Army Area (Thai: 3) - headquartered in Phitsanulok, responsible for the northern and northwestern parts of the kingdom.
    • 4th Infantry Division - (Thai: 4) (Fort King Naresuan Maharat, Phitsanulok Province)
      • 4th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 4)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 14th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 14)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 4th Field Artillery Regiment - (Thai: 4)
        • 4th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 104th Field Artillery Battalion
      • 9th Cavalry Squadron - (Thai: ? 9 4)
      • 4th Reconnaissance Cavalry Company - (Thai: 4 4)
      • 4th Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 4 4)
      • 4th Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 4 4)
      • 4th Combat Medical Battalion - (Thai: 4 4)
      • 4th Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols Company - (Thai: 4 4)
    • 7th Infantry Division - (Thai: 7) (Fort Chao Khun Nen, Chiang Mai Province )
      • 7th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 7)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 5th Infantry Battalion
      • 17th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 17)
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
        • 4th Infantry Battalion
      • 7th Field Artillery Regiment - (Thai: 7)
        • 7th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 17th Field Artillery Battalion
    • 1st Cavalry Division - (Thai: 1) (Fort Phokhun Pha Mueang, Phetchabun Province)
      • 12th Cavalry Squadron, 1st Cavalry Division - (Thai: ? 12 1)
      • 2nd Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 2)
        • 7th Cavalry Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 7 ? 2)
        • 10st Cavalry Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 10 ? 2)
        • 15st Cavalry Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 15 ? 2)
      • 3nd Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 3)
        • 13th Cavalry Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 13 ? 3)
        • 18st Cavalry Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 18 ? 3)
        • 26st Cavalry Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment - (Thai: ? 26 ? 3)
      • 21st Field Artillery Regiment - (Thai: 21)
        • 20th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 30th Field Artillery Battalion
      • 8th Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 8 1)
      • 11th Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 11 1)
    • 3rd Army Support Command - (Thai: 3)
      • 23rd Transportation Battalion - (Thai: 22 2)
      • 23rd Logistic and Service Battalion - (Thai: 22 2)
      • 23rd Maintenance Battalion - (Thai: 23 3)
      • 23rd Ordnance Battalion - (Thai: 23 3)
      • 23rd Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 23 3)
      • 23rd Combat Medical Battalion - (Thai: 23 3)
    • 3rd Development Division - (Thai: ? 3)
      • 3rd Development Regiment - (Thai: 3)
        • 3rd Development Battalion - (Thai: 3)
      • 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment - (Thai: 3)
        • 301st Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 301 3)
        • 302nd Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 302 3)
    • Military Districts - (Thai: ?)
      • 31st Military District - (Thai: ? 31)
      • 32nd Military District - (Thai: ? 32)
      • 33rd Military District - (Thai: ? 33)
      • 34th Military District - (Thai: ? 34)
      • 35th Military District - (Thai: ? 35)
      • 36th Military District - (Thai: ? 36)
      • 37th Military District - (Thai: ? 37)
      • 38th Military District - (Thai: ? 38)
      • 39th Military District - (Thai: ? 39)
      • 310th Military District - (Thai: ? 310)
  • Fourth Army Area (Thai: 4) - headquartered in Nakhon Si Thammarat, responsible for southern Thailand, it is the area that serves as the frontine command for those engaged in South Thailand insurgency. US State Department cables leaked by WikiLeaks in 2006 said: "Military forces totaling approximately 35,000 troops fall under the command of the 4th Army....the 5th Inf Div and the 15th Development Division (three regiments) totaling approximately 20,000 troops are the main units of the 4th Army."
    • 5th Infantry Division - (Thai: 5) - (Fort Thep Satri Srisunthorn, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province)
      • 5th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 5)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 15th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 15)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 25th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 25)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 5th Field Artillery Regiment - (Thai: 5)
        • 9th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 15th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 25th Field Artillery Battalion
        • 105th Field Artillery Battalion
      • 16th Cavalry Squadron - (Thai: ? 16 5)
      • 5th Reconnaissance Cavalry Company - (Thai: 5 5)
      • 5th Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 5 5)
      • 5th Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 5 5)
      • 5th Combat Medical Battalion - (Thai: 5 5)
      • 5th Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols Company - (Thai: 5 5)
    • 15th Infantry Division - (Thai: 15) - (Fort Ingkhayutthaborihan, Pattani Province)
      • 151th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 151)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 152th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 152)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • 153th Infantry Regiment - (Thai: ? 153)
        • 1st Infantry Battalion
        • 2nd Infantry Battalion
        • 3rd Infantry Battalion
      • Service Support Regiment, 15th Infantry Division - (Thai: 15)
        • Transportation Battalion - (Thai: 15)
        • Logistic and Service Battalion - (Thai: 15)
        • Combat Medical Battalion - (Thai: 15)
      • 31st Cavalry Squadron - (Thai: ? 31 15)
      • 15th Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 15 15)
      • 15th Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 15 15)
      • 15th Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols Company - (Thai: 15 15)
    • 4th Army Support Command - (Thai: 4)
      • 24th Logistic and Service Battalion - (Thai: 24 4)
      • 24th Maintenance Battalion - (Thai: 24 4)
      • 24th Ordnance Battalion - (Thai: 24 4)
      • 24th Transportation Battalion - (Thai: 24 4)
      • 24th Signal Corp Battalion - (Thai: 24 4)
    • 4th Development Division - (Thai: ? 4) - US State Department cables leaked by Wikileaks in 2006 said: "The Development Division is itself a traditionally 'static unit' that provides engineering, construction and other support to local communities in the South. It is not formally charged with security operations. Indeed, Development Division officers were very proud in stating that they have better relations with the locals than other security elements -- and have not been attacked while engaged in construction or relief efforts."[16]
      • 4th Development Regiment - (Thai: 4)
        • 4th Development Battalion - (Thai: 4)
        • 401st Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 401)
        • 402nd Combat Engineer Battalion - (Thai: 402)
    • Military Districts - (Thai: ?)
      • 41st Military District - (Thai: ? 41)
      • 42nd Military District - (Thai: ? 42)
      • 43rd Military District - (Thai: ? 43)
      • 44th Military District - (Thai: ? 44)
      • 45th Military District - (Thai: ? 45)
      • 46th Military District - (Thai: ? 46)
  • Royal Thai Army Special Warfare Command (Thai: ) also known as Royal Thai Army Special force - headquartered in Thale Chup Son, Mueang Lopburi, Lopburi

The creation of the 15th Infantry Division was announced in January 2005.[18] Defence Minister, General Samphan Boonyanan, was quoted as saying that the new unit, dubbed the "Development Division", would not be a combat unit for fighting Islamic militants, but rather its main mission would be to assist local citizens and develop the region. The military will not ignore its general function of providing safety for the citizens of the region, he added. He said that troops for the new division would undergo training to give them a good understanding of local residents, the vast majority of whom are ethnic Malay Muslims. The division is in fact a transformation of the Pranburi-based 16th Infantry Division. It will now be headquartered at Fort Ingkhayutthaborihan in Pattani, complete with its battalions and companies of military police and communications and aviation personnel, he said. It will also have three separate infantry battalions, one each in Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat. Each battalion will include three companies of medical, engineering, and psychological warfare personnel, he said. The government will allocate a budget of more than 18 billion baht for the division over the next four years.[19]

The 15th Infantry Division is being established as a permanent force to handle security problems in the Deep South. The division is based in Pattani and is expected to have a combined force of around 10,000. The establishment of this new division, approved by the government in 2005, has yet to be completed. As of this writing, some 7,000 troops deployed in the Deep South are affiliated to this division."[20] In 2012, two new combat formations had been approved by the thai government. The new 7th Infantry Division is based at Mae Rim, near Chiang Mai, and the new 3rd Cavalry Division is based at Khon Kaen.[21]

Tactical units

The army is organised into the following formations:

  • Nine infantry divisions (including 16 tank battalions)
  • One armoured division
  • Three cavalry divisions (light armoured divisions)
  • One Special Warfare Command trained and equipped for small unit Special forces and airborne operations

The Army Tactical Level Advanced Simulation (ATLAS) is an interactive, distributed, constructive simulation used to conduct military Command Post Exercises (CPX). ATLAS displays a continuous terrain model, incorporates HLA 1516, and displays 1:250,000 and 1:50,000 maps and satellite imagery. ATLAS was developed between 2002 and 2005 through co-operation with the Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC).

Army Medical Department

Army Medical Department (AMED) () belongs to the service segment of the Royal Thai Army. It is in charge of medical affairs, and providing medical care, both in the field and on base, training personnel in research and agriculture and supervising the other medical divisions within the Royal Thai Army.

AMED observed 111 years of service in January 2011,[22] with 110 years of service having been honoured by issue of a series of commemorative stamps.[23] AMED operates Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok and Ananda Mahidol Hospital in Lopburi, along with smaller hospitals at each fort, as well as Phramongkutklao College of Medicine (PCM).

Air Division

Thai army infantrymen board a RTA UH-1 Iroquois helicopter, 1992
UH-60L Black Hawk during air show at Don Mueang Air Force Base
Mil Mi-17 V5 during air show at Don Mueang Air Force Base

Royal Thai Army Aviation Center () belongs to the service segment of the Royal Thai Army Areas:

  • Don Mueang International Airport (VTBD)
    • Units include the VIP squadron, flying two Embraer ERJ-135LRs (serial number 1084/HS-AMP and serial number 1124), two Jetstream 41s (serial numbers 41060 and 41094), two Casa 212-300s (serial numbers 446 and 447), and two Beech 1900C-1s (serial numbers 0169 and 0170) and the 1st Infantry Battalion operating two Bell 206Bs (serial numbers 4422 and 4448), three Schweizer S-300Cs (serial numbers 1340, 1366 and 1367), and two Cessna U-17B FAC aircraft (serial numbers 1616 and 1617).
  • Bang Khen (3 km south of Don Mueang)
    • The Royal Squadron flies three Bell 212s and two Bell 412s (serial numbers 36332 and 36333). There is also a special transport unit flying around 10-12 Bell 212s and one or two Bell 206s.
UH-60L Black Hawk during air show at Don Mueang Air Force Base
  • Fort Surasi (Kanchanaburi)
    • The 9th Infantry Division operates two Bell 206Bs (the serial number of one is 4424), and two or three Schweizer S-300Cs. There is also a detachment of UH-1Hs from an Air Mobility Company based here.
  • Fort Chakraphong (Prachinburi)
    • The "2nd Infantry Division, Queen Sirikit's Guard", was operating two Bell 206Bs (serial numbers 4446 and 4361), three Schweizer S-300Cs (serial numbers 1343, 1344, and 1345), and two Maule MX-7s (one serial number known is 099) in 2004, however it is likely the Maule MX-7s may now not be operated by this unit now. A detachment of this unit (with, in 1998, one Bell 206 and one Maule MX-7) was operating from Watthana Nakhon (VTBW) near the Cambodian border.
AH-1F Cobra attack helicopter during air show at Don Mueang Air Force Base
  • Phitsanulok Airport (VTPP)
    • Loc 16 degrees 46'58.58N,100 degrees 16'44.84E elevation 154 feet/47 metres.
    • Runway 14/32 length 9,843 x 148 feet (3,000 x 45 metres)
    • Operating from here is the 4th Infantry Battalion with Bell 206Bs, Schweizer S-300Cs, Cessna U-17Bs, and Maule MX-7s.
  • Fort Suranari (Khorat)
    • The main flying unit here is the 3rd Infantry Battalion flying two Bell 206Bs (serial numbers 4396 and 4447), two Schweizer S-300Cs (serial numbers 1337 and 1339), and two Cessna U-17Bs (serial numbers 1454 and 1618).
    • This field also hosts a detachment of up to three Bell 212 helicopters from one of the Air Mobility Companies.
  • Fort Princess Srinagarindra (Lopburi), the main base complex of Royal Thai Army Aviation, including training, technical school, aircraft maintenance, and aircraft storage. The main airfield here is called Sa Pran Nak (VTBH).
    • Loc 14 degrees 56'58.02N, 100 degrees 38'34.88E elevation 95 feet (29 metres).
    • Runways 01/19 3,300 x 98 feet (1,006 x 30 metres) and 06/24 3,890 x 98 feet (1,186 x 30 metres)
    • Operating units here include:
      • Gong Bin Bau ( Light Aviation Company ) - operating Cessna U-17Bs, Cessna T-41s, and Searcher MKIIs
      • Gong Bin Pee-ak Moon Tee Nung ( 1st Air Mobility Company ) - operating Bell UH-1Hs and Bell 212s
      • Gong Bin Pee-ak Moon Tee Song ( 2nd Air Mobility Company ) - operating Bell UH-1Hs (US Excess Defense Articles Program) and Bell 212s
      • Gong Bin Pee-ak Moon Tee Sam ( 3rd Air mobility Company ) - operating Bell UH-1Hs, Bell 206Bs, Bell AH-1F Huey Cobras (eight) and Bell 212s
      • Gong Bin Pee-ak Moon Tee Gou (pasom) ( 9th Air Mobility Company ) [Mixed]) - operating Bell UH-1Hs (US Excess Defense Articles Program) and Sikorsky S-70-43 Black Hawks (six) with six more on order.
      • Gong Bin Sanub-sanoon Tua Pai (General Support Aviation Battalion) - operating Boeing CH-47D Chinooks, Bell UH-1Hs, and Mil Mi-17V5s
      • The army aviation centre is based here, which conducts conversion training for the army. Types operated are Cessna T-41Bs (ex-US army surplus), Maule MX-7s, and Schweizer S-300C piston trainer helicopters.
      • The two former VIP Beechcraft 200 King Air aeroplanes (serial numbers 0342 and 1165), are also based here. Their present role is unknown. These aeroplanes were modified in the US in the late 1990s.
    • A separate airfield within the Lopburi complex (around 3 km south of Sa Pran Nak) houses the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Company. This unit is responsible for maintenance and storage of army aircraft and helicopters.
    • The 5th Infantry Division operates the following aviation assets from a small airfield within the army reserve at Nakhon Si Thammarat (not at the airport): two Bell 206B-3s (serial numbers 4382 and 4427), three Schweizer TH-300Cs (serial numbers 1371, 1372, and 1373) and two Maule MX-7s (serial numbers 114 and 115). A detachment of helicopters can be found here from the Air Mobility Companies based at Lopburi.

Military districts

The army is divided into districts, whereby the first digit of the district indicates the army (first, second, third or fourth) responsible for its supervision. The names of forts are from locations or influential figures in Thailand's history. These are as follows:

Military district number Provinces under control Headquarters location
11 Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan Laksi, Bangkok
12 Prachinburi, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao Fort Chakraphong, Prachinburi
13 Lopburi, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong Fort King Narai Maharat, Lopburi
14 Chonburi, Rayong Fort Nawaminthrachini, Chonburi
15 Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan Fort Ramratchaniwet, Phetchaburi
16 Ratchaburi, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon Fort Phanurangsi, Ratchaburi
17 Kanchanaburi, Suphan Buri Fort Surasi, Kanchanaburi
18 Saraburi, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Fort Adisorn, Saraburi
19 Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi, Trat Fort Surasinghanat, Sa Kaeo
21 Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum Fort Suranari, Nakhon Ratchasima
22 Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen Fort Sapphasitthiprasong, Ubon Ratchathani
23 Khon Kaen, Kalasin Fort Sripatcharin, Khon Kaen
24 Udon Thani, Nong Khai Fort Prachaksinlapakhom, Udon Thani
25 Surin, Sisaket Fort Weerawatyothin, Surin
26 Buriram, Maha Sarakham Fort Somdej Chao Phraya Kasatsuek, Buriram
27 Roi Et, Yasothon Fort Prasertsongkhram, Roi Et
28 Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu Fort Srisongrak, Loei
29 Sakon Nakhon, Bueng Kan Fort Kritsiwara, Sakon Nakhon
210 Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan Fort Phra Yod Mueang Khwang, Nakhon Phanom
31 Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Phet, Uthai Thani Fort Chiraprawat, Nakhon Sawan
32 Lampang Fort Surasak Montri, Lampang
33 Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun Fort Kawila, Chiang Mai
34 Phayao Fort Khun Chueang Thammikkarat, Phayao
35 Uttaradit, Phrae Fort Phichai Dabhak, Uttaradit
36 Phetchabun, Phichit Fort Phokhun Pha Mueang, Phetchabun
37 Chiang Rai Fort King Mengrai Maharat, Chiang Rai
38 Nan Fort Suriyaphong, Nan
39 Phitsanulok, Sukhothai Fort King Naresuan Maharat, Phitsanulok
310 Tak Fort Wachiraprakan, Tak
41 Nakhon Si Thammarat (except Thung Song District), Phuket Fort Vajiravudh, Nakhon Si Thammarat
42 Songkhla, Phatthalung, Satun Fort Senanarong, Songkhla
43 Nakhon Si Thammarat (only Thung Song District), Krabi, Trang Fort Thep Satri Srisunthorn, Nakhon Si Thammarat
44 Chumphon, Ranong Fort Khet Udomsak, Chumphon
45 Surat Thani, Phang Nga Fort Vibhavadi Rangsit, Surat Thani
46 Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala Fort Ingkhayutthaborihan, Pattani

Budget

The RTA budget for FY2021 is 107,662 million baht, down from 112,815M baht in FY2020.[24]

Battle

Army of Thailand in Haw wars (1875)
The Siamese Expeditionary Force in Paris, 1919
Thailand soldiers arriving at Busan
Five statues honour the army, navy, air force, police, and populace at Victory Monument.
Thai soldiers wash in a small pool during a break in operations, Nhon Trac, 19 October 1967
Military Police stop traffic to allow the 2+12-ton trucks carrying members of the Black Panther Division to leave Newport Docks, en route to Bearcat, 22 July 1968

Equipment

Rank structure

Rank group National rank General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
 Royal Thai Army[25]
Field Marshal General Lieutenant General Major General Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Sub Lieutenant

Chom phon

Phon ek
?
Phon tho

Phon tri
?
Phon chattawa

Phan ek

Phan tho

Phan tri
?
Roi ek

Roi tho
?
Roi tri

Nak-rian nairoi
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
 Royal Thai Army[25]
Master Sergeant 1st Class Master Sergeant 2nd Class Master Sergeant 3rd Class Sergeant Corporal Private 1st Class No insignia

C s?ib xek

C s?ib tho

C s?ib tr?

S?ip xek

S?ip tho

S?ip tri

Phon thahan

Businesses and infrastructure

The army owns more than 30 golf courses nationwide. The army also owns boxing stadium, 100 petrol stations, racecourses, hotels, retail and coffee shops, and radio and television airwaves (by one count, the armed forces have ownership in 537 radio and TV stations).[26] In early 2020, the army entered an agreement with the Finance Ministry to turn over to the ministry the management of businesses unrelated to the army's mission.[27][28][29] In a related move, army commander General Apirat Kongsompong decreed that retired generals must move out of army-owned housing to free space for serving officers. As of 2020, about 100 retired generals and colonels inhabit army accommodations.[30] Some ex-generals, like PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan were exempted immediately from eviction because of their "contribution to society".[31] The Thai Defence Ministry position is that there is no law prohibiting retired officers from occupying military housing.[32]

In January 2021, the RTA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to study the feasibility of constructing solar farms on 4.5 million rai of army land to generate 30,000 megawatts of electricity. Following up, on 22 February 2021 a meeting was called by the President of Royal Thai Army Radio and Television Channel 5 with energy firms interested in winning a piece of what is projected to be a 600 billion baht project. The Energy Ministry was not represented at the meeting. Critics have questioned why the army is involved in energy procurement, in contravention of existing regulations, and why Thailand needs more electricity when it already has 59% reserve capacity and more capacity under construction.[33]

Broadcasting

Radio and television channel list

Free-to-air TV

  • TV5 HD1
  • Channel 7 operated by Bangkok Broadcasting & Television Company Limited (BBTV)

Satellite TV

Radio

  • Royal Thai Army Radio Network, all 126 stations

See also

References

  1. ^ , ? (18 July 2019). "?". www.matichonweekly.com. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ "The Royal Thai Army | 42nd Military Circle". 42militarycircle.com. 1 October 2010. Archived from the original on 18 August 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "Thailand's new army chief takes office - DW - 01.10.2010". DW.COM. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ "Thailand's Junta Chief Chosen as Prime Minister". Voice of America. 21 August 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ Achakulwisut, Apinya (23 October 2018). "Army at the centre of our vicious circle" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "The CURSE of an Army always ready to pounce" (Opinion). The Nation. 23 October 2018. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Nanuam, Wassana (18 October 2019). "Army chief refuses to rule out fresh coup". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ BBC News (26 February 2020). " .?. ?". BBC News.
  9. ^ Strangio, Sebastian. "Twitter Suspends Sock Puppet Accounts Linked to Thai Military". thediplomat.com. The Diplomat. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ Tanakasempipat, Patpicha. "Thai army denies Twitter disinformation campaign after takedowns". www.reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ Kapp, Lawrence (1 February 2019). General and Flag Officers in the U.S. Armed Forces: Background and Considerations for Congress (R44389, v.5, updated ed.). Washington DC: Congressional Research Service (CRS). Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ "Active and reserve U.S. military force personnel numbers by service branch and reserve component in 2018". Statistica. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ Faulder, Dominic (31 December 2019). "Thailand: Land of a thousand generals". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ Nanuam, Wassana (3 September 2018). "Army reshuffle sees loyalists appointed". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ a b Wongcha-um, Panu (1 October 2019). Richardson, Alex (ed.). "Thailand's king takes personal control of two key army units". Reuters.
  16. ^ 06BANGKOK3883, 'Southern Violence: The army takes the lead,' 30 June 2006, para 8.
  17. ^ "3rd Special Forces Regiment (official Thai website)". Royal Thai Army 3rd Special Forces Regiment. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ Robert Karniol, 'Thailand boosts military in troubled south,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 23 February 2005, Vol. 42, No. 8, p. 12
  19. ^ Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, New Thai army regiment to battle southern militants [sic - this is a division], BBC Monitoring International Reports, 16 February 2005.
  20. ^ International Crisis Group, 'Update Briefing: Stalemate in Southern Thailand,' Asia Briefing No. 113, Bangkok/Brussels, 3 November 2010, 3
  21. ^ Interview: Sukumpol Suwanatat, Air Chief Marshal and Minister of Defence, JDW 15 August 2012, Vol. 49, Issue 33, 34.
  22. ^ "111 Years". Amed.go.th. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  23. ^ "110 Years of Army Medical Department, RTA. Commemorative Stamps". Catalog. SiamStamp. 25 November 2009. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 2011.
  24. ^ "Thailand's Budget in Brief Fiscal Year 2021". Budget Bureau. 2 October 2020. p. 85. Retrieved 2020.
  25. ^ a b "" [Military Rank Insignia]. navedu.navy.mi.th (in Thai). Thai Naval Education Department. Retrieved 2021.
  26. ^ Yonpiam, Chairith (15 February 2020). "Apirat's vow to reform military misses the mark" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ Nanuam, Wassana (18 February 2020). "Army gives up cash cows". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2020.
  28. ^ Nanuam, Wassana (13 February 2020). "Army to cede schemes to professionals". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ Pongsudhirak, Thitinan (14 February 2020). "Underpinnings of a Thai mass shooting" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2020.
  30. ^ Nanuam, Wassana (19 February 2020). "Retired generals, colonels still occupy about 100 army homes". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2020.
  31. ^ Rojanaphruk, Pravit (14 February 2020). "Retired Soldiers Ordered to Vacate Army Residences--Except Prayut". Khaosod English. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ "Overstayers 'not breaking law': Govt". Bangkok Post. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  33. ^ Sangarasri Greacen, Chuenchom (4 March 2021). "Firms line up for slice of solar pie" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2021.

External links


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