KORAT, Thailand – “Now the auspicious moment has arrived… I would like to declare the combined joint Exercise Cobra Gold 2012 open.” These words were spoken by Gen. Sakol Sajjanit, Deputy Chief of Royal Thai Defense Forces, who took part in the opening ceremony which officially began Exercise Cobra Gold 2012.
The exercise is an annual multi-national combined joint training exercise held throughout the Kingdom of Thailand. It is the United States' largest multilateral exercise in the Asia Pacific region and offers more than 20 participating countries critical training opportunities to improve interoperability in conducting multinational operations.
“I would like to thank the United States Government and the United States Armed Forces, especially the United States Pacific Command for co-hosting this year’s exercise, as well as all personnel, organizations, and participating countries for their sacrifice and devotion in making this exercise possible,” said Sajjanit.
In its 31st iteration, Exercise Cobra Gold demonstrates multi-national commitment to allied forces in the Asia-Pacific region and focuses on regional partnership, prosperity and security commitments in the region.
Events during the exercise include a computer-simulated command-post exercise, field training operations, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects that increase the standard of living for the Thai people in surrounding communities.
“Cobra Gold is much more than just an exercise,” said Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., Commanding General III Marine Expeditionary Force. “We have a challenging two weeks in front of us that will build relationships between partnering nations and improve the interoperability for forces across the range of military operations.”
Participating nations in CG 12 include the U.S., Kingdom of Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the Republic of Korea.
“We are very proud of our alliance with Thailand, and our alliances and partnerships throughout Asia,” said Judith Beth Cefkin, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand. “These relationships based on friendship, common goals and mutual respect makes Cobra Gold the vital and vibrant exercise it is today.”
Glueck’s closing remarks challenged exercise participants to avoid complacency and to maximize their efforts this Cobra Gold to accomplish the goals set forth.
Exercise Cobra Gold 2012 is taking place throughout the Kingdom of Thailand with event concluding on Feb 17.