Nay Pyi Taw April 10
The Tatmadaw is conducting Army, Navy and Air military drills continuously to protect sovereignty and territory of the country well and to enhance its defence capability. Naval ships including submarine (Minye Thinkhathu) has been conducting the Three Dimensional Naval Exercise-Sea Shield 2020 involving strategic aerial, surface and underwater operations and firing since 2 April this year in Myanmar territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal.
Chairman of the State Administration Council Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, accompanied by council members General Maung Maung Kyaw, Lt-Gen Moe Myint Tun, Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, Union Minister for Planning, Finance and Industry U Win Shein, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Moe Aung, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army, Navy and Air), Commander of South-West Command Maj-Gen Aung Aung and officials, observed the military exercise.
First, the Senior General and party arrived on board the naval ship (Mottama) by helicopter to inspect the ships of the Three-Dimensional Naval Exercise-Sea Shield and was welcomed by Officer Scheduling Exercise (OSE) Rear-Admiral Htein Win, Naval Commander (Duty) Capt Tet Lwin Tun and senior military officers of the military drill. The commander-in-chief (Navy) reported on the purpose of the Sea Shield 2020 which is in accord with the guidance of the Senior General, and the Three-Dimensional Naval Exercise involving surface ships, submarine and helicopters. The Naval Commander (Duty) also reported on practical training. In response, the Senior General said priority should be given on hitting the targets precisely as it is a firing practice drill. He stressed the need to take lessons, to collect comprehensive information in connection with the requirements and the drill, to seriously take into account the task of blocking, preventing, annihilating and to recount the important matters.
While the naval ships were sailing to the target-practicing area before the start of the drills, a foreign merchant was spotted in the area. Naval ship (Mottama) asked the vessel details and to leave the area in accord with the rules of engagement (ROE).
Then, the Senior General observed the firing of surface and aerial targets with big guns and cannons and underwater targets with torpedoes by ten war ships from the naval ship (Mottama).
The submarine (Minye Thinkha thu), surface ships and helicopters of the Tatmadaw (Air) saluted the Senior General in Single Line Formation while shouting the slogan “We are safeguarding the Myanmar seas” with full vigour.
Speaking to commander (duty), officers and other ranks of the drill on board Mottama, the Senior General said the Sea Shield drill began in 2014 and the present is the seventh time. Based on the previous experience, the drill is being conducted. Superficially, it is a routine drill. In fact it is very important for national defence.
Myanmar has long and wide territorial waters which is about 1300 nautical miles in coastal length and over 144,000 square miles in surface area. Navy plays pivotal role in safeguarding the territorial waters. Hitting the target is very important in the naval drills. In naval warfare, the degree of loss is high even if a ship is hit and destroyed. It also has huge impact on the combat prowess.Systematic training is required to realize the policy “every shot must hit the target and training must be done to hit the target”. All the rounds must be go straightly to the specific area as the drill focuses on area targeting.
Tatmadaw (Navy) was founded with frigate Mayu and since 1990 it has been developing gradually. It later reached the level of producing its own naval vessels from the stage of owing fast attack ships and artillery-mounted ships. Navy will have more ships and can increase its caliber by producing its own warships. Apart from producing the ships, training should be conducted to be capable in weaponry technology and skills. In the past there will smuggling of surface and underwater resources of the country. Hence, the Tatmadaw (Navy) has been upgraded to protect and effectively utilize the marine resources and to safeguard the territorial waters.
The Navy must always be ready to conduct Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response(HADR)in time in saving the civilian ships that sink, catch fire or face various kinds of troubles at sea in time, apart from serving the national defence duties. Its ships could repatriate 1156 Myanmar citizens stranded in Malaysia and India in February and March this year. It was the work of successfully saving the citizens who were facing troubles abroad under various reasons and a prove that the Navy can carry out HADR operations well.
It is a proper drill to counter and crush the aerial, surface and under water enemy at sea and its ultimate goal is Drill to Action. Hence, theweakness and advantages found at the drill must be recorded andanalyzed. It is important to gather correct information.
As they all the officers and other ranks have successfully and effectively participated in the drill, their performances were satisfactory.
The aim of the drill is to promote the national defence capacity. So they must be dutiful and serve in the interest of the country.
The Senior General presented souvenirs to officers and other ranks of the drill through the naval commander (duty). Then the Senior General and party left Mottama by helicopter.
The drill involving helicopters, submarine and surface ships is a fire and maneuver training based on military offensive skillfully launched by Three-Dimensional Navy. Since its arrival in Myanmar, the submarine (Minye Thinkhathu) has already conducted 131 underwater operations for 1708 hours and 56 minutes in the area of Myanmar territorial waters inspection head quarters.