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NEWS | March 20, 2024

Army CID Expands its Jurisdiction in Cobra Gold 2024, Major Exercise in Pacific Region

By Thomas B. Hamilton III, Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division

Supervisory Special Agent Erin Chow, Department of the Army Criminal Investigation, Far East Field Office became the first Army CID special agent to participate in the multinational Indo-Pacific military exercise Cobra Gold, held annually in Southeast Asia. This year’s exercise took place February 27 to March 8, 2024.

Cobra Gold, established in 1982 and originally a bilateral exercise between the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States, has since expanded and now includes the countries of Japan, The Republic of Korea, the Republic of Singapore, the Republic of Indonesia, and Malaysia. In its 43rd iteration, Cobra Gold is the longest running multinational military exercise in the world. The 2024 exercise involved 9,000 service members, including 4,500 from the United States, with a total of 30 nations participating, either actively or as observers.

“This exercise is a decades-long example of the enduring partnerships that bind our nations together,” Lt. Gen Xavier Brunson, the commanding general of U.S. I Corps and senior mission commanding general for the exercise, said during the opening ceremony. “As we train and learn from one another, we symbolize the strength that comes from unity, shared goals, and commitment to regional stability.”

Later in the exercise, Lt. Gen. Brunson personally expressed his appreciation to Special Agent Chow for her assistance and support for Cobra Gold 2024.

Representing Army CID, Special Agent Chow was able to coordinate with the Royal Thai Military, Royal Thai Police, U.S. Embassy in Thailand, and I Corps headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Special Agent Chow established herself as the point of contact for all on-ground U.S. Army law enforcement matters with a Department of Defense nexus and a U.S. Army interest.

Along with establishing herself as the point of contact for U.S. Army law enforcement matters, she also facilitated coordination between the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand and Lt. Gen. Brunson’s security team via the U.S. Embassy Regional Security Office and the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service to assist in protection during the opening ceremony.

“The Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division is continuously seeking ways to provide professional criminal investigative support to the Army,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Michael DeFamio of the Army CID Far East Field Office, home-based at Camp Humphreys South Korea  “Our presence in the Far East and participation in Cobra Gold illustrates Army CID’s commitment to maximizing our jurisdiction and being there for the Army, whenever we are needed.,”

Special Agent Chow was grateful for the opportunity to be present during the exercise and especially appreciative of the assistance and mentoring from Michael Young of the DoD Force Protection Detachment Team at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. “Without his help and support, my mission would not have been possible,” she said.