NAKHON NAYOK, Kingdom of Thailand -- Thai and U.S. Forces held an opening ceremony Feb. 9 in Nakhon Nayok, Kingdom of Thailand to mark the start of exercise Cobra Gold 15.
Held at the Armed Forces Academy Preparatory School, the event was presided over by Thai and U.S. leaders eager to express their excitement about the continued success of the annual exercise. Cobra Gold is a recurring multinational exercise hosted by Thailand and developed by Thai and U.S. militaries.
“The benefits of this broad exercise are already blossoming,” said W. Patrick Murphy, the Chargé d’affaires ad interim at U.S. Mission Thailand. “U.S., Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, Chinese and Indian soldiers are making great progress as we speak, on projects at four Cobra Gold humanitarian civic action sights that will benefit local communities for generations to come.”
Mirroring ongoing real world operations and multilateral efforts, the exercise will include a simulated counter-piracy mission and multilateral evacuations of civilians at a disaster-affected area.
“Typhoons and terrorism are more common threats than tanks and torpedoes,” Murphy said. “Taking this into account, we have refocused Cobra Gold this year to place greater emphasis on humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities.”
The exercise, which ends Feb. 20, will improve capabilities to plan and conduct combined-joint operations and will provide an opportunity for partner nations to build relationships and improve interoperability across a range of military operations.
Cobra Gold also features components aimed at mitigating and preventing emerging disease threats, which can spread quickly and cause tremendous human and economic devastation.
“International cooperation is the only way to effectively address these transactional threats,” Murphy said. “These adjustments keep Cobra Gold relevant in a shifting security environment. Some things stay the same however: an unwavering U.S. commitment to Asia, to peace, prosperity and democracy.”
Exercise Cobra Gold provides a platform for promoting regional prosperity, security and cooperation among partner militaries, which include those from Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and the People’s Republic of China as well as observers from other countries in the Pacific.
“Together we are much stronger than any of us are individually,” Murphy said. “It’s our goal that all participating nations will exchange ideas, learn new skills and build bonds that allows us to respond faster and more effectively to regional and global security challenges.”
This year marks the 182nd year of the strong Thai-U.S. relationship and demonstrates the commitment between allies toward prosperity and security in the Asia-Pacific Region.