BANGKOK, Thailand (Mar. 29, 2011) Rear Adm. Thomas F. Carney, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies and Requirements, U.S. Pacific Fleet, right, delivers his opening remarks as senior attendees listen during the 2011 Senior Leaders Seminar. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jessica Bidwell/Released)

BANGKOK, Thailand (NNS) – The U.S. and Royal Thai Navies co-hosted the annual Senior Leaders Seminar (SLS) March 29 - April 1 in Bangkok, Thailand, drawing senior naval leaders from twelve Southeast Asian countries, for in-depth discussions on piracy.

The conference combined senior naval leaders from twelve Southeast Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Singapore, Sri-Lanka and Vietnam. Seminar discussions focused on counter-piracy operations in South/Southeast Asia, in an open format that helped spur discussions throughout the week, and led to a deeper understanding of piracy-related issues. Several subject matter experts representing academic, commercial, law enforcement, governmental, and military organizations addressed the audience on a piracy from their specific discipline’s point of view.

“This seminar is the first of its kind to be held in Thailand,” commented Adm. Khamthon Pumhiran, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy, in his welcoming remarks. “Aside from being a prominent expression of cooperation among the Armed Forces from 12 participating countries, this seminar also reflects the determination and willingness of the participating countries to join hands in dealing with the expanding threats that many countries are facing,” continued Adm. Khamthon.

Rear Adm. Thomas Carney, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies and Requirements, for Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, thanked the Royal Thai Navy for co-hosting this year’s seminar. Carney noted that Thailand’s recent participation in Task Force 151, the multinational task force that conducts counter-piracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) area of responsibility, made the RTN the ideal host for the seminar.

“The successful deployment by the Royal Thai Navy shows the power of cooperation in working together against a common problem,” Carney said.

“People build the relationships that enable action and success, and the goal of this conference is to build those relationships so we can combat piracy and other maritime challenges more effectively.”