The Chief of Defence Forces of the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) General (GEN) Tarnchaiyan Srisuwan was conferred Singapore’s highest military award, the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) [Distinguished Service Order (Military)], by President Halimah Yacob at the Istana this afternoon.
GEN Tarnchaiyan was conferred the award for his significant contributions in enhancing the defence relationship between the RTARF and the Singapore Armed Forces. Under his leadership, cooperation between the two armed forces grew stronger through bilateral exercises like Exercise Kocha Singa and Exercise Flash Thunder, and multilateral exercises like Exercise Cope Tiger and Exercise Cobra Gold. Notably, this year marks the 20th anniversary of Exercise Kocha Singa, which is a testament to the close and long-standing bilateral defence ties between the two countries. Both militaries also participated in the first ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise hosted by Thailand in November 2017. In addition, GEN Tarnchaiyan facilitated military-to-military interactions through professional exchanges, training visits and the cross-attendance of courses, which have helped to forge closer rapport and trust between both armed forces. GEN Tarnchaiyan’s strong support for regional defence cooperation has also led to Thailand’s deepened contributions towards Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief efforts in the region, and efforts to enhance regional maritime security through participation in the Information Fusion Centre and the Malacca Straits Patrol.
Guests at the investiture included Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Melvyn Ong, as well as other senior government officials and military officers from Singapore and Thailand. Prior to the investiture, GEN Tarnchaiyan was also accorded with a Guard of Honour at the Istana.
GEN Tarnchaiyan, who is in Singapore from 6 to 7 September 2018, also called on Dr Ng and LG Ong at the Ministry of Defence earlier today. During the calls, both sides reaffirmed the strong defence ties and expressed commitment to further deepen bilateral defence cooperation.