NEWS | March 2, 2018

Exercise Cobra Gold Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise (CALFEX)

By ADM Harry Harris U.S. Pacific Command

Adm. Harry Harris
Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
Exercise Cobra Gold Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise (CALFEX)
Ban Chan Krem, Thailand

February 22, 2018
As Delivered


General Tarnchaiyan, Ambassador Davies, Chairman Frelinghuysen, fellow flag and general officers, ladies and gentlemen: 

It’s an honor to be with you today, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Thai allies and our friends from all of the countries represented here today to strengthen collective capacity and enduring relationships throughout the Indo-Pacific. 

The United States and Thailand enjoy an extraordinary relationship that has lasted almost two centuries. And for more than 60 years, we’ve been committed to mutual defense cooperation by treaty.

The U.S. alliance with Thailand is a deep and enduring commitment.  As a friend and ally of Thailand, I hope it returns soon to democracy so it can stay strong, stable, and prosperous. 

The Cobra Gold exercise series is an integral part of the U.S. pledge to strengthen our bonds with the Kingdom of Thailand and other participating nations in the Indo-Pacific. 

This year marks the 37th iteration of Cobra Gold, the largest Theater Security Cooperation exercise in Asia with nearly 30 nations participating in the various training events this year. 

This high level of participation demonstrates a growing commitment to do the hard work and increase interoperability among our militaries now, so that we know what works when crisis strikes. 

Ancient wisdom holds what modern experience confirms: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations.  We fall to the level of our training.” 

Cobra Gold and the Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise we just witnessed give us the opportunity to train to our expectations. 

Global security challenges require global solutions, so I’m inspired by our deep alliance with Thailand and committed to expanding our partnerships with like-minded nations, as we all work together to keep this region secure, to keep this region prosperous, and to keep this region peaceful.  

Thank you very much!