Soldiers from the headquarter companies of the Idaho Army National Guard’s 2-116th Combined Arms Battalion and the Royal Thai Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion are conducting a staff exercise together as part of Hanuman Guardian, which occurs from 20-30 August at the Royal Thai Army’s Cavalry Center in the Saraburi province.
The staff exercise provides Soldiers from both units the opportunity to work together to complete the military decision-making process and draft an operations order for a fictional mission. “It’s fun to be able to work together with another country,” said Capt. AJ Edwards, 2-116th CAB plans officer. “It’s more educational because you see different countries come together for the same purpose and to plan a mission.”
Edwards said the challenge of communicating with his Royal Thai Army counterpart means he’s has to really think about what he needs to communicate and to do so in a simple and concise manner, which has increased his understanding of doctrine terms and military tasks and purposes.
For Capt. Chawanon Musikadilok, company commander of 2nd Infantry Battalion’s 1st Riffle Company and the battalion’s operations officer for the exercise, the staff exercise has helped improve his understanding of cavalry tactics since he has spent his career as an infantry officer.
“We’re always willing to learn,” Musikadilok said, speaking for Soldiers from both armies.
The staff exercise has also been educational for Royal Thai Army Sgt Sangchai Sooksai, who is participating in the military decision-making process for the first time to prepare for future assignments. He is performing the duties as the battle captain and is working alongside Edwards, his US counterpart.
“It’s been great being able to see things come together for him between what he already knows and what he’s learning here,” said Edwards.
Hanuman Guardian is a bilateral army-to-army exercise that strengthens capability and builds interoperability between US and Royal Thai Army forces and demonstrates the commitment of both countries to its long-standing alliance. In addition to the staff exercise, Soldiers from both countries will train together to conduct infantry operations and improve their skills in counter-improvised explosive devices operations, battlefield medical treatment and aviation capabilities.