Remarks by Admiral John C. Aquilino
Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command
Utapao Naval Airbase, Thailand
February 28, 2023
Good afternoon. It’s great to be in Thailand and I’m excited to kick-off this year’s iteration of Cobra Gold.
General Chalermphon – good to see you my friend, and thank you for your leadership in hosting this important event.
Ambassador Godec – thank you for attending today’s opening ceremony. The military and diplomatic communities share many responsibilities associated with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, so it’s great to have you here.
To my fellow flag and general officers, distinguished guests, and exercise participants, thank you for supporting Cobra Gold and joining this multilateral collection of warriors.
For the past 42 years, Thailand and the United States have held exercise Cobra Gold, the largest joint exercise in mainland Asia, to advance our common interests and prepare our militaries for future challenges.
The thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who participate in Cobra Gold come from across the world and represent diverse cultures speaking an array of languages.
It’s an honor to be part of this robust multinational force dedicated to promoting our shared goals and security commitments in the Indo-Pacific.
Cobra Gold 23 strengthens our ability to plan and conduct combined, joint, high-end security and peacekeeping operations across all domains.
Through Cobra Gold, we demonstrate our resolve to respond together to future challenges, preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific where all nations can prosper.
Cobra Gold is a wonderful example of multilateral cooperation which is the foundation of regional and global security.
Look no further than the recent tragic earthquakes in Turkey – where American and Thai personnel worked together to ensure the delivery of critical aid to those in need. This is why our training matters. This is why Cobra Gold matters.
The United States and our partners train operational concepts that integrate cutting-edge military capabilities, to include cyber and space effects.
In Cobra Gold 23, the nearly 6,000 participants from the United States will employ 5th generation aircraft alongside amphibious, airborne, and special operations forces to conduct integrated operations across the land, sea, air, and space with our partners.
Of equal significance to the training tasks, are the relationships our service members develop with other participants. These relationships help facilitate peace and prosperity for generations to come.
I thank the Thai people, the Royal Thai Government, and the Royal Thai Armed Forces for hosting Cobra Gold.
The United States remains committed to maintaining our enduring friendship, partnership, and alliance with Thailand.
A strong, forward-looking defense alliance, rooted in history, helps preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region for all countries.