APRIL 2, 2021 – Marine Corps logisticians from U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, came together virtually with counterparts from the Royal Thai Marine Corps this week for the first virtual iteration of the biennial Logistics Staff Talks, a collaborative symposium on common challenges.
This two-day event, led by Col. Boyd A. Miller, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-4 Logistics, and his team of subject matter experts, focused on partnered operational logistics, distribution best practices, and material management. Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group Thailand supported the event in-person at the headquarters of the Royal Thai Marine Corps in Thailand.
The first day of the Log Talks introduced participants to MARFORPAC G-4’s mission and tasks, and reinforced the spirit of cooperation between the two corps of Marines. Progress reports summarized previous initiatives from the last round of Log Talks, held in November of 2019, prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. New bilateral initiatives were introduced and discussed, scoping out the future of logistics engagements.
“Log Talks are held biennially, and allow us to identify common issues that will improve our interoperability and enable us to better sustain our forces when we train together and operate together,” said Miller.
The second day’s discussions focused on increasing opportunities for interoperability between the two services. Topics included subject matter expert exchanges, the U.S-Thailand Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, the Royal Thai Marine Corps’ Assault Amphibious Vehicle maintenance program, and the potential foreign military sales opportunities available for the AAV.
“It is one of those areas where you can really improve the relationship… for both the United States Marine Corps and Royal Thai Marine Corps.” Col. Boyd A. Miller, G-4 Logistics’ Assistant Chief of Staff
“Logistics is an area where we can work together to make our Marine Corps more ready and better prepared for the challenges that we’ll face,” said Miller. “It is one of those areas where you can really improve the relationship in ways that are simple, but make a big difference for both the United States Marine Corps and Royal Thai Marine Corps.”
One popular topic during the Log Talks was the Engineer Subject Matter Expert Exchange Program.
Launched in 2016, the program provides a way for MARFORPAC’s combat engineers to share best practices while learning the same from their Royal Thai Marine Corps counterparts. Safety and maintenance for the AAV, a platform shared by both Marine Corps, was another high priority topic of interest.
Both services have operated the platform for decades; this familiarity allows the two to compare important notes on safety of operation, maintenance and tactical employment, and serves to improve interoperability and integration between them.
“Normally we travel to Thailand for face-to-face dialogue, and that allows us the opportunity to understand the environment where the Marine Expeditionary Forces train and operate” said Miller. “It also helps us build stronger relationships with our counterparts in the Royal Thai Marine Corps by better understanding their nation, culture, and how their Marine Corps operates.”
The virtual Logistics Staff Talks were a productive success in bilateral cooperation.
The MARFORPAC and Royal Thai Marine Corps Logisticians’ long-standing relationship continues to grow and remains strong in spite of COVID-19 limitations.
Captain Chatchai Sukrasorn, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Royal Thai Marine Corps, and senior member present stated, “We do not have a language barrier between us because we both talk together in Marine Corps language.”
By Lance Cpl. Sasha Pierre-Louis | U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific