When you drive between Hua Hin and Cha-Am on the ocean side of the main road there are two facilities operated by the Border Patrol Police that Hua Hin and Cha-Am Today was recently invited to visit. These are the Shooting Range and the Headquarters of the Aerial Reinforcement Unit (PARU). The Border Patrol Police Aerial Reinforcement Unit (BPP PARU or just PARU) is the BPP’s special forces unit responsible for training and supporting airborne operations, airborne reinforcement, disaster and accident rescue, and supporting special missions under the command of the Border Patrol Police. All members of PARU are trained for airborne operations including free-fall jumps. PARU provides support to the BPP Headquarters within 2 hours.
Our hosts included………………….
The Border Patrol Police Aerial Reinforcement Unit (BPP PARU) is a special warfare unit responsible for training and supporting airborne operations, airborne reinforcement, disaster and accident rescue on land and water including air-sea rescue. The Unit supports special missions under the command of the Border Patrol Police. PARU also conducts training for unconventional warfare, international counter-terrorism prevention, and parachute training of the Royal Thai Police.
It is no coincidence that the Unit is located near to the Royal Palace to ensure the safety on visiting Members of the Royal Family and to provide rapid response in the event of an emergency.
2013 ANNUAL MILITARY SPORTS DAY
Our visit to PARU coincided with the Annual Military Sports Day. This is when representatives of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Border Police and Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters) from all over Thailand compete in a variety of sports. These are sports which highlight physical skills needed in the execution of their important duties. Over three days they compete in swimming, obstacle clearance, short course marathon, shooting and even hand grenade throwing. We should add that on this occasion the hand grenades were unarmed and the competition test was about throwing accuracy rather than destruction.
The opening Ceremony was hosted by Police Major General Khun Thape Amonsopit, the Deputy Commissioner of the Border Patrol Police and Police Major General Khun Amnoy Pokesant, the Commander in charge of Aerial Reinforcement Unit.
We were then able to observe proceedings at the shooting range vying for the champion marksman awards. Very impressive!
Incidentally the PARU complex includes some beachside bungalow accommodation if you are looking for a very safe environment for your holiday by the sea!
NARESUAN SHOOTING RANGE
The Naresuan Shooting Range is easily found because of the decommissioned Caribou aircraft which is a landmark alongside the main road. This aircraft is now about 40 years old and was decommissioned about 10 years ago.
This facility is open to the public as an opportunity to try out your shooting ability under carefully controlled conditions, including the instruction of trained Border Patrol Police Officers. There are revolvers, automatic pistols, rifles and submachine guns available. The Range provides target practice for anyone, including shooting clubs and holds competitions from time to time.
Our group of visitors were novices were under the careful tutelage of the Sub Inspector of the Crime Suppression Unit, Khun Pran Likkitgarn. We were soon hitting the black centre circle of the target with his advice. No tens scored but one of us took home a target sheet with a clean nine to boast about (no names mentioned)! Some of the ladies were a little nervous (some perspiration noted) but the message was don’t be scared just respect the power of these firearms. The Cautions Message for all to see reminds you that a ‘second chance in a gun accident is minimal’.
If you are looking for some ‘serious fun’ and an afternoon with a difference why not try this out. Maybe firing a sub machine gun is on your ‘bucket list’?
Our advice is; listen to the instructions and try to relax, and then see if you can score the perfect ten.
Our thanks to the patient instructors, especially Khun Pran but also the hospitality of Police Lieutenant Saksit Intachart and Police Colonel Tassan Sangngam.