Cobra Gold Opening Ceremony
Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
(11 February 2014, PHITSANULOK, Thailand)
Good Morning, it’s a great opportunity for me to be back here in Thailand, particularly in this historic city. Thank you for the opportunity to speak on the opening ceremony for one of the Pacific’s signature and certainly one of the largest and most important multi-lateral exercises.
And a special thank you to our Thai hosts for their hospitality and for leading us through this important engagement.
Thailand is the US’s oldest ally, and we are entering the 181st year of this alliance. In 2012 the Secretary of Defense signed a Joint Vision Statement with Thailand to update our defense relationship. And it expanded our regional partnership to focus on challenges that include disaster relief and other global security contributions. Events like Cobra Gold allow us to work together multi-laterally to exercise those commitments. Since 1980, Cobra Gold has served to develop a better respect and understanding among all the participants. And this 33rd annual event with over 13,000 participants is no different.
Cobra Gold is more than just the US and Thailand. There are many other nations represented here. Whether you’re a participant or an observer, whether you have been here from the beginning or this is your nation’s first Cobra Gold, your presence here demonstrates your country’s resolve to support peace and stability in the region.
This year’s exercise will prepare us for a full spectrum of challenges. Through the Field Training Exercises and live-fire events and also importantly the Humanitarian Civic Assistance Projects, Cobra Gold truly replicates the dynamic security environment we find ourselves in today and will face in the future.
Thank you again to the Thai military for the opportunity to be here today and for your hospitality. I would especially like to thank Gen. Tanasak, Adm. Amorntep and their staff for hosting all of us. And thank you to all of you who are here to participate. We must continue build on the rich history of cooperation that events like Cobra Gold provide for us. We must aspire to work closely with all of the nations of this region to confront common challenges and continue peace and prosperity. Together, we can build a common view on security interest. Through our bi-lateral and multi-lateral engagements, we will improve shared understanding and enhance trust.
I look forward to the opportunities when we can continue to work together to solve problems that each of our nations face and forge a brighter future for the entire region, for ourselves, for our children, and their children.
Let’s have a safe and productive Cobra Gold. Keep Charging. I’m proud of you.
— USPACOM (posted February 11, 2014) —