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Cobra Gold, the largest multinational military exercise in the world, begins its 29th year of joint training and cooperation among six countries in the Asia-Pacific theater in Thailand on Feb.1.
Cobra Gold 2010 marks the first time South Korea will participate in the exercise.
“Thailand is one of our closest friends and partners in Asia, as well as being our oldest ally in Asia,” said Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander, U.S. Army Pacific. “The Cobra Gold exercise is the largest multilateral joint military exercise in the world.”
Sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and the Royal Thai Supreme Command, the three-week exercise includes a command-post exercise, a series of medical and engineering civic-action projects and joint and combined field training. The exercise continues to serve as a venue to build interoperability between the United States and its Asia-Pacific regional partners.
The command-post exercise focuses on training a Thai, U.S., Singaporean, Indonesian, and South Korean coalition task force. The exercise also includes Japan participating within a United Nations Force staff. A team composed of representatives from Brunei, Chile, China, Germany, Laos, Mongolia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam will observe the command-post exercise at the invitation of the Thai government.
Among Cobra Gold 2010’s objectives is Pacom’s rapid deployment of a joint task force and subsequent coordination with U.N. forces, with the aim of improving Pacom’s ability to conduct multinational operations and increase interoperability with partner nations, officials said.
In addition, officials noted, the military-to-military relationships developed during Cobra Gold exercises underscore a combined capability to face myriad issues in the Asia-Pacific theater, including terrorism, transnational threats, and humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief efforts.