US President Barack Obama’s visit to Bangkok on Sunday will be overseen by a massive security outfit including an armored limousine, Black Hawk helicopter, and members of the FBI, CIA, and US Marines.
In all, Obama will be guarded by 1,000 members of his American security detail and 500 Thai special forces from the Army, Air Force, and police.
An anonymous source told the Nation that even the drinking water for Obama will be brought by his own security team.
“I hear that the White House team will bring their own drinking water for the president and his team. This is to prevent any poisoning or contamination,” said the source, who added that the Americans did the same thing when president George W. Bush (remember him?) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Thailand.
The source complained about the sky-high demands from the Americans, saying, “The Thai officials involved [in the preparation for Obama’s visit] are going insane. America is the only country so fussy with their visits. When we visited the White House, we could not request anything. And when they visit us, we again can’t request anything from them.”
The Thai police team includes officers from the Special Branch, Metropolitan Police Bureau, as well as commando and bomb disposal units. Military personnel will be drawn from the National Security Centre, Counter-Terrorism Operations Centre, and the Air Force’s Security Force Command, which will be responsible for taking care of Air Force One to be parked at the military airport.
President Obama will be granted an audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Siriraj Hospital.
He will then meet Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House to discuss various bilateral issues followed by a state dinner in honor of his visit.
Obama’s visit falls on the 180th anniversary of relations between the United States and Thailand.