RTF training ship
Every year after the end of the second term, naval cadets have sea training. Last year, our training unit consisted of 3 ships: HTMS Naresuan, HTMS Bangpakong and HTMS Surin...
...As third-year cadets we practiced being petty officers. We worked as radiomen sending and receiving information by radio and communicated with other ships using radio, which was quicker than communication by semaphone signaling. Radio signals on board can be divided in 2 bands. The first band is used for general communication, the second band is used for surface warfare. This two-band communication is coded to protect it from sniffers. Also, we practiced flashlight signaling in the evening.
We operated our stations as follows: battle station, delivery station and man overboard station. We practiced surface plotting our ship's position on the chart. We also practiced receiving and sending radio messages in different scenarios. Finally, we trained celestial navigation by measuring angles of starts to calculate our ship's position.
The training aims to make the cadets know all the duties on the ship. Therefore, when they graduate from the RTNA to be officers on board, they will know what kind of work they will experience and can prepare themselves to cope with those problems. And another important reason is, that they will know how to use their subordinates efficiently.
Written by Midnight Angels, November 2005
Our training experience
...When we sailed to foreign countries, we saw many things are different from Thailand. People in each country are different from the others. The cleanest country is Singapore; the dirtiest country is Sri Lanka. We had to improve our English to use on land. The only country we couldn't use English is China. In the Philippines we could drink, because pubs and restaurants are open 24 hours.
The most important experience that I cannot forget is when sailing from Sattahip to Shianghai, China. We were in the middle of a storm, very high waves, and terrible weather. One of the crew told me that it was the most dangerous journey since he joined the navy. I thought it was a good chance to train cadets. Some friends couldn't do anything except lying in their bunks. I didn't have a problem. The waves were 5 meters high; the wind speed was about 30-35 knots. HTMS Surin, the L.S.T. ship I stayed on, could go ahead with 5 knots speed only. I worked on the bridge while our ship climbed a big wave, another wave clashed on our ship from the starboard beam, so I suddenly fell head over heels and rolled from the left door, and back to the right door again and again, till I was stopped at the chart table.
Two frigates in our training unit took 2 days to get to China, because they could use higher speed, but my ship took 5 days for this terrible journey with bad food and bad weather. The temperature was 0-4 degrees Celsius.
I am very pleased to be a naval cadet. Only a few boys have had the same experience as me. If I wouldn't be a naval cadet, I wouldn't have received many good experiences like that. The sea training is a major part of naval cadets' life forever.
Written by Marine & Police, November 2005
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