Weekly Magazine of the
Forces of India
Frigates' Goodwill Cruise to Thailand
Naval Frigates Squadron comprising INS Jumna, Tir, Sutlej and Kistna
was recently on five-day goodwill cruise to Thailand.
welcome received by the ships in Thailand on the "historic
occasion" of their first goodwill cruise to Bangkok was significant
and symbolic of the age old ties - cultural and other - existing between
Thailand and India. The personnel of the visiting squadron were given a
warm reception by the cosmopolitan citizens of Thai capital and Government
and the Royal Thai Navy in particular.
at the mouth of the river Maenam Chao Phya on the bank of which stands
Bangkok, INS Jumna fired two 21-gun salutes to the Kingdom of
Thailand and to His Majesty The King, the first one of which was returned.
Later, the four ships gracefully sailed up the Maendering river with
various kinds of sailing and motor-boats, small "sampans" and
huge country-craft moving on both sides of the ships in a seemingly
endless procession. Men, women and children in these boats as also from
the houses on the river-banks fringed with tall palms and ever-green trees
greeted the squadron by waving their hands and hats. Many were also heard
shouting "Namaskar" and "Sawadhi" (Thai
greeting). The entire scene of the cheering people, the anchored Royal
Thai Naval ships exchanging salutes with each of the IN frigates with
smartly dressed men standing to attention on the upper decks presented a
brilliant spectacle. It almost looked like a Naval ceremony.
ship’s visit Captain M K Heble, Captain Commanding Indian Naval
Squadron, exchanged courtesy calls with H.E. the Prime Minister, the
Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, the Thai Naval C-in-C and the Indian
Ambassador in Bangkok.
welcoming Captain Heble, the Prime Minister, Field-Marshal Pibul Songgram
expressed how happy he felt at the visit and spoke of the friendly ties
existing between the two countries. As a mark of the visit, the Prime
Minister presented to Captain Heble souvenir gifts for the four ships.
Captain Heble expressed his profound thanks to the Prime Minister for this
very kind gesture and expressed the hope that the Thai Navy would pay a
visit to India and that there would be frequent exchanges of Naval visits
between the two countries in the future.
the visit as a "momentous occasion" at a dinner held in honour
of the visiting squadron, the Thai Naval C-in-C. said : "It is common
knowledge that the Navies of the world have a common link which binds them
together, but in case of two such closely situated Navies this bond should
surely be stronger." He felt that it was of mutual benefit that on
this occasion Officers of the two Navies were able to exchange views and
opinions and advantages which could only be gained by personal contact. In
his reply Captain Heble said that the occasion was "a red letter day
for us in the Indian Navy". He sincerely hoped that this occasion
would mark the beginning of growing co-operation and goodwill between the
five-day programme of receptions and entertainments, sports fixtures and
sight-seeing excursions which included a formal dinner party held on board
Jumna was rounded off by a farewell party given by the visiting
was the thunderous ovation the Naval personnel received at the National
Stadium during a thrilling football match which the Indian Navy lost to
the Royal Thai Navy by two goals to three. With its grand-stand packed to
capacity the Stadium witnessed an unforgettable spectacle of a parade by
Thai Naval cadets just before the game started, with two cadets heading
the columns carrying the Thai and the Indian Flags during the march. Later
a helicopter of the Royal Thai Air Force gracefully descended over the
field to ceremoniously deliver the football to the Captains of the two
Throughout the ships’
stay at Bangkok thousands of people - Thai, Chinese and Indians including
women and children - poured into the ships and evinced keen interest in
what they saw. The Officers and men of the squadron impressed their hosts
everywhere by their discipline, smartness of bearing and charming manners.
The visit, marked by the generous and spontaneous hospitality extended by
all to the guests, has forged one more link in the traditional bond of
friendship existing between Thailand and India. The departing squadron
carried with it sweet memories of their stay in Bangkok.