When mentioning “army”, we often think of “green army” who wear green uniforms with weapons and intention to devote their lives to prevent dangers from enemies. However, when mentioning “Dark Blue Army”, people may feel strange and curious what “Dark Blue Army” is.
“Dark Blue Army” is actually originated from “Green Army” with the same duties to fight with enemies of Thailand. However, these enemies are not humans but they are in other formats affecting to quality of life of local people in some areas. These “enemies” are poverty or quality of life that is under standard.
Dark Blue Army is the designation of an army unit called “Armed Forces Development Command” that was established to fight with threats cased by communism that were being distributed to Thailand at that time. In the beginning, it was called “National Security Directorate” gathering forces from every ministry, bureau, and department to solve the problem on poverty of local people in rural areas who had difficulty in approaching government agencies. This force was established to prevent intervention, advertising, and propaganda of the opposite side with Mobile Development Units as the operational units distributed throughout Thailand with the major duty to enhance basic utilities for local people to have better quality of life leading to national security.
When security situation was changed, National Security Directorate adjusted its role to become Armed Forces Development Command with the slogan, “Worshiping Royal Institution, Determining to Develop for Becoming Secured Civil State.”
Units under Armed Forces Development Command are Headquarters, Development Engineers Unit, Armed Forces Development Unit, Service Support Regimen, Disaster Relief Training Center, and Special Development Unit.
Unit supervising development works in southern border provinces is the 4th Regional Development Office.
There are 9 units that are directly under the 4th Regional Development Office as follows:
Units of the 4th Regional Development Unit in the areas of 3 southern border provinces are Mobile Development Unit 41, 42, and 44.
Mobile Development Unit 41, 42, and 44 with responsibilities to supervise local development works in Narathiwat, Yala, and Pattani, participate in developing and reinforcing security including construction of rural roads, water supply for consumption, development works for helping people, and integrated agricultural system under the Royal Guideline on Sufficiency Economy.
In each year, development will be circulated to each area under integration with related agencies and sectors in order to improve quality of life to be distributed to every area of 3 southern border provinces requiring improvement of quality of life.
Besides development works for reinforcing security as mentioned above, units of the 4th Regional Development Unit, for example, Mobile Development Units, also have responsibilities to help people in various disasters, for example, flood. Mobile Development Unit 41, 42, and 44 will cooperate with other units and sectors to help people, for example, bring plumbing service trucks and forces to distribute clean drinking water to victims in disaster areas as well as provide help in other forms making quality of life of people in disaster areas is better.
To develop country, especially areas with problem on security and difficulty on accessibility, it cannot be performed by normal unit. Therefore, it is necessary to utilize some specific units that can perform duties on development, especially “development for security”.
Over the half of the century, Armed Forces Development Command has performed assigned missions with their full abilities in other regions and 3 southern border provinces until they have been admired and accepted by Thai people as soldiers of development who are called as “Dark Blue Army”.