Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Life: 100 US Navy service projects in Phuket



PHUKET: THE USS Peleliu returned to Phuket recently and conducted the US Navy’s 100th Community Service Project in the greater Phuket area.

In June 2006, the Rotary Club of Patong approached the US Navy Attaché’s office in the US Embassy in Bangkok about doing community service projects together with the US Navy ships that visited Phuket for rest & relaxation.

The embassy was looking for just such an opportunity in Phuket to organize both the US Navy’s COMSERV and HANDCLASP projects and so began a long relationship that still exists today.

Since then, 100 COMSERV projects have been performed by more than 40 different US Navy ships which have visited Phuket over the past six years. The USS Peleliu conducted the 100th COMSERV project on October 23, over the Sarasin Bridge at the Home & Life Foundation Orphanage, where 26 Tsunami-affected and/or disadvantaged children currently live.

The foundation owns several buildings including dorms, offices, a bakery and coffee shop. Their property is beside a river that has eroded land and threatened the foundations of the bakery and several other buildings.

Over the past year shoring up the river bank has been accomplished through generous donations from the Rotary Club of Patong Beach and with US Navy and Marine manpower from several past COMSERV’s including the USS Comstock (LSD-45), USS Green Bay (LPD-20), USS Kidd (DDG 100), and the USS Ford (FFG 54), and most recently the USS Peleliu.

Previous efforts stopped erosion and this project worked to reclaim lost land. The land that was reclaimed was then used to build a play area for the children.

The Peleliu’s US Marines and US Navy volunteers were joined by Royal Thai Navy volunteers in an effort to also shore up an eroding river bank and save several buildings by moving some 12 tonnes of rock down the river bank and into gabion cages. Rock was trucked in and hand-passed to be inserted into gabion rock cages.

On October 24 a second group of USS Peleliu Marine and Sailor volunteers went to Baan Ao Makham School near Kok Kloy and did some much needed painting.

The Rotary Club of Patong and The Rotary Club Andaman Phang Nga provided food for all the volunteers for both projects.

The USS Peleliu (LHA-5) is a Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship, named for the Battle of Peleliu during World War II. The Peleliu has previously visited Phuket in 2006 and 2010, when it participated in other community services. Projects by the ship in greater Phuket now total seven.

The average cost invested by each COMSERV project is 12,000 baht, making the contribution by the US Navy to-date a total of 1.2 million baht. COMSERV usually involve 25 US Marine and Navy volunteers, a total of 25,000 US enlisted personnel who’ve volunteered in Phuket.

Another project of the US Navy is HANDCLASP. This project gives goods to organizations in need at the local communities where servicemen visit. These goods usually include medical supplies, personal hygiene supplies, and sports equipment. The US Navy has to-date completed 37 HANDCLASP projects averaging 60,000 baht each, totaling over 2.2 million baht given to children and women’s shelters, day care centers, orphanages and NGOs.

Just over the bridge off Phuket is an orphanage started after the 2004 Tsunami with 26 children living as a large family, with five care takers, making a wonderful family unit: the Home & Life Foundation, Phang Nga.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thais more relaxed about Covid-19

Bangkok6 hours ago

‘Win’ motorbike taxi drivers protest against GrabBike in Bangkok, Thailand

World6 hours ago

China not cod-ing about its zero Covid policy as it tests fish

Sponsored2 days ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Travel6 hours ago

Affordable but stylish hotels in Koh Samui for your next holiday

Thailand6 hours ago

Female soldier seeks help after being abused by senator’s wife

Crime7 hours ago

2 fake monks make up to 40k baht per day scamming villagers in northern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime8 hours ago

Man stabs wife’s secret lover to death in rice paddy in central Thailand

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand movie legend Sombat Metanee has died, aged 85

Crime9 hours ago

Teen soldier murders cousin for allegedly raping his mother

Video9 hours ago

Thaiger Unfiltered

World10 hours ago

Monkeypox victims told to avoid animals after pet dog is infected

Thailand11 hours ago

Elephant rips mahout’s body in half in southern Thailand

Thailand11 hours ago

2 men on a motorcycle rob a gas station in Chon Buri

Thailand12 hours ago

PM Prayut suggests studying Buddhism to cope with rising electricity bills in Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11