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COBRA GOLD GETS STARTED

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Annual Exercise Kicks Off in Thailand
By Harold Hutchison

The 32nd iteration of Operation Cobra Gold 2013 has begun in Thailand. The joint exercise in Southeast Asia kicked off with 15 nations participating.

“As you know, Cobra Gold has become a truly multinational exercise,” said Royal Thai Army Lt. Gen. Tarnchaiyan Srisuwan, the Thailand-directed lead of CG 13 and director of joint operations for the Royal Thai Armed Forces. “Its size is growing ever larger, in terms of the number of the parties participating. We will address military operations other than war, such as peacetime support, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. These allow the nations to work close to enhance interoperability.”

Cobra Gold 2013 includes field training exercises, civil and humanitarian aid projects, and a staff exercise.

“When you train together, talk together, plan together … I know that if a disaster strikes my country or a neighboring country you will all be there,” said U.S. Ambassador to thailand Kristie A. Kenney. “You’ll be there at once because whether it’s flooding in Thailand, a typhoon in the Philippines or a tsunami in Indonesia, you know because you’ve worked together to respond immediately and effectively to save lives. As a civilian, I know that makes us safer and more productive and prosperous.”