The changing face of warfare and military needs has rendered the existence of the SEALs necessary. This is why Navies all over the world have their own SEAL units among their ranks. As far as Southeast Asia, the Philippine Navy SEALs, the Indonesian KOPASKA, and the Royal Thai Navy SEALs are there to hurdle some of the toughest challenges that their country’s respective armed forces may face, just as the US Navy SEALs here at home do.
A feature by Mayuree Sukyingcharoenwong in The Nation chronicles the challenging road that leads to becoming among the elite in the Royal Thai Navy. Just as in the United States, training to become a SEAL for the Royal Thai Navy entails going through what is touted as the toughest training course in the country. In Thailand, more than half of the hopefuls reportedly do not make it past the halfway mark. By the end of training, around only 30% are left standing.
SEALs all over the world have a common mission and a common goal. It is therefore not surprising that they share their methods and their knowledge with each other. The Royal Thai Navy SEAL Commando training is handled by the Thai Naval Special Warfare Command, and the curriculum, training methods and requirements are based on those used by the US Navy SEALs, as shared by Navy Lt. Daokien Sudsans of the Training Center.
The Royal Thai Navy SEAL course lasts for 31 weeks. At Week 10, hopefuls go through something US Navy SEALs aficionados are already familiar with — Hell Week, where they are made to hurdle grueling physical activities under extreme conditions. To date, SEAL training in Thailand has been going on for the past 36 years.
Those who complete the Royal Thai Navy SEAL training automatically qualify as divers and may be sent for specialized training in underwater repair, underwater bomb disposal and underwater mine diffusing.