INTRODUCTION: As tension continues to mount on Thailand's borders, the country's military commanders have stepped up their campaign to keep both the armed forces and civilians in a constant state of readiness for war.
GV Frigate Prasae moving out of harbour
SV Gun crew
GV PAN F-5E jet overhead mock-strafing frigate; frigate returns fire (2 shots)
SV Gun crew training weapons on jet
GV Frigate firing guns
GV PAN Jet flying low and strafing frigate
CU General Serm Na Nakhon, Supreme Commander, with chiefs of Staff
GV Gun crew in village preparing defence against jets (2 shots)
GV Villagers take cover
GV Mock village under attack
SV Gun crew moving gun
GV Planes attacking village (2 shots)
SV Injured soldier lying on ground
SV Gun crew firing anti-aircraft gun
SV Jets fly past
GV PAN Anti aircraft guns firing out to sea
GV Fire engine arriving in village; crew rush to burning house
LV Ambulance arrives: stretcher crew runs into village; firemen fight flames
SV Mock injured being attended to and taken to ambulance (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: As tension continues to mount on Thailand's borders, the country's military commanders have stepped up their campaign to keep both the armed forces and civilians in a constant state of readiness for war.
SYNOPSIS: One of the latest in a series of exercises took place at the U-Tapao Naval Base where the frigate, Prasae, was involved in a running mock-battle with an F-5E jet belonging to the Thai Air Force.The plane was one of several F-5Es that made bombing and strafing runs against the frigate only to meet with retaliatory anti-aircraft gun fire.
General Serm Na Nakhon, Supreme Commander of Thailand's armed forces, was accompanied by his Chiefs of Staff as he watched the naval exercises.He later went to a nearby village where he presided over ground exercises.
As sirens warned of an impending attack, villagers ran for cover.Within moments, the village was under mock-attack but gun-crews moved quickly to take up their positions.They went into action as more F-5E jets mounted a low-flying attack on the village.
Mock though the battle was, one soldier was seriously injured.He lay on the ground for quite some time as all around him the atmosphere of war seemed real.Previously laid explosives were detonated and the firing of anti-aircraft guns, recoilless rifles and machine-guns helped to make the scene more realistic.
The civilian population also took part in the exercises, their main role being to help put out fires and to take care of the wounded.At the end of the battle, military leaders were generally pleased with the way things went.They had an opportunity to demonstrate the fire power of their anti-aircraft weapons and to test the effectiveness of their M.39 machine guns, the standard weapon on the F-5E jets.One of these jets succeeded in bringing down a radio-controlled target plane with an M-39.Thailand is maintaining a state of readiness for war as it regards the continued presence of about 200,000 Vietnamese troops in neighbouring Kampuchea as a major threat.