Adm Luechai arrived at the Third Area Command, based at Cape Panwa, this morning (Aug 3) as a special visit ahead of his formal retirement as the Navy Commander in Chief, a post he has held for the past two years.
Adm Luechai said he felt welcomed back to the base in Phuket, where he had previously served. "I am very pleased to visit here again. Naval Region 3 is the area where I used to work. I have visited here many times, and each time I feel connected to this unit and proud to have served with you,” he said.
He also praised the Third Area Command for their work, which he said had made Phuket’s Navy division loved by the general public. “On behalf of the Navy, thank you to all the personnel that made the Third Area Command famous,” he said.
“This region seems like a peaceful area, but that is not the case,” he said.
“The border from Ranong to Satun covers a distance of over 600 kilometers, and includes an area covering thousands of square kilometers that we must look after for national maritime interests. It’s a challenge that requires highly knowledgeable personnel to be able to accomplish this mission,” he added.
“The mission of the Navy Region 3 unit is very different from other navy divisions. The important thing is to fight with many influential people,” Adm Luechai noted.
“Complex problems that require clear communication with neighbouring countries requires intelligence and prudence to accomplish the work harmoniously and effectively in line with policy,” he said.
“I would like to commend you once again for the work that has been accomplished. As I retire today, I would like to take the opportunity to bid farewell to all of you. We have worked together for the Navy with the intention of always achieving a good mission,” he added.
Adm Luechai also noted the Third Area Command’s role in providing assistance in sea rescues and their role in boosting marine transport safety for tourists in Phuket and other provinces along the Andaman coast.
He also praised the efforts to stave off and pursue the “offenders” in the “sea-steading” case, and the local Navy personnel’s support role in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
“This includes assisting with the transport of medical personnel and delivery medical equipment, and the delivery of ‘relief bags’ of food and necessities to people in all areas, such as those on Racha Yai Island and the sea gypsies in Rawai, on the Surin Islands and even Koh Lipe in Satun province,” he said.