UTAPHAO AIR BASE, Thailand - Exercise Cobra Gold 2014 kicked off with an opening ceremony in Phitsanulok, Thailand on Feb 11. Sailors from the forward-deployed amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) and the staff of Amphibious Force 7th Fleet are participating in the exercise.
Cobra Gold is a Thai-U.S. co-sponsored multinational joint exercise conducted annually that includes forces from the U.S., Kingdom of Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
The exercise is designed to demonstrate the ability of the participating nations to rapidly deploy a joint task force and conduct combined operations at sea and ashore. The amphibious portion of CG 14 showcases the capabilities of the combined Navy and Marine Corps teams.
"It's a great honor to take part in this exercise," said Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet. "Cobra Gold demonstrates our commitment to our allies and partner nations and exercises our ability to operate forward to execute any mission."
Wetherald is serving as the deputy commander for Naval Forces during the exercise.
Cobra Gold 2014, in its 33rd iteration, demonstrates U.S. commitment toward regional security exercising a robust multinational force from nations sharing common goals and security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.
"The events included in the exercise improve our collective mission readiness in the Western Pacific and enable participating nations to be more capable in response to crises," said Wetherald.
The U.S. and Thailand have been working together for 181 years. CG 14 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote peace and security in the Western Pacific.
Denver is part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and reports to Commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet, Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.