SUKHOTHAL PROVINCE, Kingdom of Thailand -- The 38th iteration of Cobra Gold, the largest multilateral exercise in the Indo-Pacific region, concluded with a combined arms live-fire exercise in Sukhothai Province, Thailand on Feb. 22, 2019.
Gen. Pornpipat Benyasri, Royal Thai Armed Forces Chief of Defense Forces, Mr. Peter Haymond, U.S. Embassy Bangkok Charge d’Affairres and Adm. Philip S. Davidson, commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command, were among the senior civilian and military leaders from the 29 nations in attendance to watch Royal Thai and U.S. Armed Forces integrate artillery, rocket, tank, aviation, and small-arms fire with coordinated maneuver of ground forces.
“What was seen today in that combined arms live-fire exercise is the important work we do together to build the credibility of combat power between our two armed forces, which is so important to deter and prevent conflict,” Davidson said.
The live-fire exercise was the culminating event of this year’s Cobra Gold which officially began February 12 in Phitsanoluk Province, Thailand after several weeks of service-members from various nations engaging in construction and enrichment projects to benefit local Thai communities.
“Demonstrating our combat capability is not all we do,” Davidson said. “Much of the Cobra Gold exercise was dedicated to working humanitarian assistance, civic action projects, and the kind of things it takes to do disaster relief together. This speaks to a free and open Indo-Pacific and the kind of thing that speaks to what you can accomplish when nations come together to work these problems.”
Since the Thai-U.S. hosted Cobra Gold 19 began in mid-February, military members from nations across the Indo-Pacific have participated in and exchanged expertise on a range of activities including maritime security, response to large-scale humanitarian and disaster crisis, amphibious operations, countering improvised explosive devices, and dive operations. This exercise provided a variety of training opportunities to build readiness, enhance interoperability and strengthen regional relationships, developing regional cooperation and collaboration as nations worked together.