Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | March 4, 2020

Royal Thai, US Forces Commemorate Landmine Reduction Operations with Unexploded Ordnance Destruction

By Capt. George McArthur 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

SA KAEO, Kingdom of Thailand -- The Royal Thai Armed Forces Thailand Mine Action Center hosted a demonstration to inform U.S. and Thai military leadership about ongoing landmine reduction operations throughout the country, culminating with the destruction of unexploded ordnance at the Phakdi Phandin Village Tactical Training Field, March 3, as part of Exercise Cobra Gold 2020.

The ongoing landmine disposal exercise is a cooperative effort between TMAC and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to conduct the reduction of landmines and UXO with subject-matter expert exchanges, according to Thai Army Lt. Gen. Sittipol Nimnuan, director general of TMAC.

“The landmine disposal exercise under the Cobra Gold 2020 framework, which is being conducted in Watthana Nakhon District, Sa Kaeo province this year, aims to dispose of 1,764 anti-personnel mines, 20 anti-tank mines and more than 300 UXO,” Nimnuan said

Total allied forces participating in the exercise include 16 U.S. explosive ordnance disposal participants from the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and Air Force, and 86 Thai EOD technicians and medical personnel, according to Nimnuan.

Attending the demonstration were senior Thai and U.S. military leadership including the RTAF Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Pariphat Phalasin and Marine Corps Lt. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy, III Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general, along with members from non-governmental and international organizations supporting the reduction of landmines in Thailand and throughout the world.

The scope of actions on Thailand’s eastern border is due to planning between Thai leadership and the U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Mine Action Program, which assists partner-nation civilian populations plagued by landmines, explosive remnants of war, and the hazardous effects of UXO, according to Lt. Col. Henry Soukup, an EOD officer with Marine Corps Forces, Pacific.

“Marine explosive ordnance disposal, and engineers along with U.S. Navy corpsman from 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, have been supporting and assisting the Thailand Mine Action Center in humanitarian mine action since our partnership’s inception,” Soukup said. “We are honored to support and work beside our Thai partners, and we are proud to devote time, effort and sweat with [them] while working safely and effectively towards the ultimate goal of a landmine-free Thailand.”

At the conclusion of the event, which included exhibitions on the history of landmines in Thailand and interactions with subject-matter experts and exercise participants, the distinguished visitors inspected recovered UXO grouped in three sections downrange while wearing special personal protective equipment. At an observation point almost a kilometer away, and after remarks followed by a safety brief, Phalasin, Nimnuan, and Clardy each activated a group of explosives in-turn – taking the next step in reducing the presence of UXO in the Kingdom.

“The landmine disposal exercise for Exercise Cobra Gold 2020 ensures that these recovered landmines and UXO will not ever harm innocent people, Thai or otherwise, again,” Nimnuan stated. “The safety for the people is, after all, the ultimate goal for humanitarian mine action. The RTAF is committed to clear all landmines from Thailand by the year 2023.”

Exercise Cobra Gold demonstrates the commitment of the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States to our long-standing alliance, promotes regional partnerships and advances security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

Like Us
Follow Us



7th Fleet Destroyer Conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation in South China Sea
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) conducts routine underway operations. Benfold is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Jan. 20, 2022 - SOUTH CHINA SEA -- On Jan. 20, USS Benfold (DDG 65) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law. At the conclusion of the operation, USS Benfold exited...

Coast Guard Cutters begin Operation Aiga in Oceania
The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126) on patrol off the coast of Waikiki, July 4, 2018. The Joseph Gerczak's crew participated in an operation to keep swimmers and boaters safe during a Fourth of July celebration on the waters off Waikiki.
Jan. 20, 2022 - HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Juniper (WLB 201) and Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126) will aim to extend the Coast Guard’s at-sea enforcement presence in the region through a 40-day patrol.“Aiga,” the Samoan...

NMCB-5 Concludes Indo-Pacific Deployment, NMCB-3 Assumes Authority of Naval Construction Force Tasking in the Indo-Pacific
Command Master Chief Martin Laurie (left), Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5, hands the battalion flag to Utilitiesman 1st Class Sabino Martinez during a relief in place/transfer of authority (RIP/TOA) ceremony onboard Camp Shields in Okinawa, Jan. 18. This RIP/TOA marked the official completion of NMCB-5's deployment in the region. NMCB-5 is homeported in Port Hueneme, California. The Seabees will train on high-quality construction, expeditionary logistics, and combat operations during the homeport phase. They execute construction and engineering projects to support Major Combat Operations, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance
Jan. 20, 2022 - OKINAWA, Japan -- U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 transferred authority of Naval Construction Force tasking in the Indo-Pacific region to NMCB-3 during a relief in place/transfer of authority (RIP/TOA)...

Simplified Human/Machine Interfaces Top List of Critical DOD Technologies
An announcement was made by the Department of Defense June 3 that will bring enormous advantages, as well as responsibilities, to San Antonio and the region. Joint Base San Antonio is one of 12 select installations where the department will experiment and test fifth-generation, or 5G, communications technology.
Jan. 20, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- A modern-day cell phone packs quite a wallop when it comes to computing technology and capability. But most cell phones barely come with a "quick start guide," let alone an instruction manual that spells out how...

Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2 Completes the Inaugural Multinational Underwater Repair Exercise with the Republic of Korea Navy UCT
Divers from the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) Underwater Construction Team (UCT) and the U.S. Navy’s Underwater Construction Team TWO (UCT-2) perform underwater exothermic cutting during the Multinational Underwater Repair Exercise (MUREX) 2021 in Apra Harbor, Guam, Dec. 21, 2021. This is the first-ever MUREX, an exercise designed to develop interoperability in underwater construction operations, build diving expertise, and foster comradery between the ROKN UCT and the U.S. Navy’s UCT-2 and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit ONE (MDSU-1).
Jan. 20, 2022 - APRA HARBOR, Guam -- Divers from the U.S. Navy’s (USN) Underwater Construction Team TWO (UCT 2 ) Construction Diving Detachment ALFA (CDD/A), Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit ONE (MDSU-1), and the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN)...