CHONBURI, Thailand --
Military representatives from more than 25 countries gathered, in Chonburi, Thailand, June 8, to witness a demonstration of non-lethal techniques taught during the U.S.-Thai bilateral training of Non-lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES) 2011.
Partner militaries from around the world observed the Thai soldiers’ tactics refined by seven days of training with U.S. Marines.
Non-lethal weapons are designed to incapacitate equipment and personnel while minimizing fatalities and permanent injury. This capability is preferred by militaries during rescue missions, force protection during civil disturbances, or when civilians are used to mask a military attack.
Many of the representatives were thrilled to witness the demonstration and understand its effectiveness.
“It’s very important that we have the capability to safeguard our soldiers, sailors and army, but also our civilian population,” said New Zealand Army Maj. Jeff Howe of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.
U.S. Marines from the Special Operations Training Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force from Okinawa, Japan, assisted in the training, and they were happy with the demonstration, which highlighted the use of pepper spray, crowd control, communication and Mechanical Advantage Control Holds (MACH).
“The demonstration went smoothly,” said Sgt. Ricardo Narvaez, a native of San Antonio. “It was really good to see their training come to fruition and executed well.” These events not only contribute to operational readiness and interoperability, but also contribute to military-to-military relationships among partner nations.
“Events like this are excellent,” added Howe. “We get to speak with our partners in the Pacific region and talk about operational experiences and share ideas.”
NOLES is a multilateral theater security cooperation event for non-lethal weapons. The annual seminars are designed to promote awareness of non-lethal weapons as well as develop technique, tactics and procedures to maintain order in low-intensity or civil unrest scenarios.