DKI APCSS Director, Pete Gumataotao led a delegation of Center faculty and staff through a visit to Thailand. The trip marked one of the Center’s first expeditions into the region since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Thailand, faculty members provided lectures to the Royal Thai Armed Forces’ Strategic Studies Center (SSC) of the National Defence Studies Institute for the Senior Security Studies Program, which was held July 18-22, 2022.

The intensive one-week program for senior Thai security sector leaders emphasized key geopolitical and security trends in the region as well as capacities to manage these for both leaders and institutions. Center leadership and faculty members from the Center supported the program as lecturers.

The program reflects a joint effort between DKI APCSS and SSC to discuss strategic thinking in an ever-changing complex environment. During the course, participants discussed regional security challenges, ASEAN security challenges, economic security, strategic communications as well as future trends.

According to DKI APCSS Director, retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Pete Gumataotao: “A comprehensive understanding of security focused on strengthening sustainable and resilient societies will be key to an enduring free and open Indo-Pacific. The continuing development of the Senior Security Studies Program is an excellent example of how allies such as Thailand and the United States can work together to build cooperation throughout the Indo-Pacific Region.”

There is a long relationship between SSC and DKI APCSS. Gen. Boonsrang Niumpradit, former Supreme Commander of the Royal Thai Defence Forces (2006-2008), was among those who helped inaugurate the Center in Honolulu 26 years ago in his role as Director of the then Strategic Research Institute. This is the fourth time DKI APCSS has partnered with the Thai SSC for their senior course.

Following the program, Director Gumataotao, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Michael Heath, and Thailand DKI APCSS Alumni President/RTARF Chief of the Joint Staff General Nothapol Boonngam presided over a DKI APCSS alumni event. The alumni event recognized Thailand’s APCSS alumni and took place at the National Defence Studies Institute in Bangkok. With over 450 alumni of DKI APCSS courses, Thailand has the largest alumni network in the region. Through DKI APCSS, U.S. and Thai security practitioners build capacity, improve mutual understanding, and strengthen relationships among civilian and military leaders and institutions to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific.