U.S. Marines from Combat Logistics Regiment 3 began setting up their combat operations center Feb. 9 at Camp Samaesan in Sattahip, Kingdom of Thailand, which will facilitate communication, command and control between logistics units throughout the country during exercise Cobra Gold 2013.
The exercise is a Thai-U.S. co-sponsored multinational, multiservice exercise that includes forces from Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and observers from other countries in the region.
U.S. Marines are excited for the exercise to begin and anxiously await the opportunity to work with their counterparts in the Thai Marine Corps.
“The Thai Marines are very hard working and personable,” said U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Francisco Pietri, the assistant operations officer for CLR-3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “Just in passing, a Thai Marine was showing us pictures and video on his phone of previous training he had done, just as any U.S. Marine would. We are excited for the exercise to kick off, and we are looking forward to working with our Thai counterparts.”
The COC will serve as headquarters for the unit throughout the course of the exercise as CLR-3 assumes the role of logistics combat element for the Marine air-ground task force, explained to Pietri. It is, therefore, essential to operations throughout the region.
“This training will prepare us for real-world situations ranging from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to full-scale combat operations,” said Pietri.
For U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew W. Berkowicz, a generator mechanic with CLR-3, the training is a good opportunity to increase the interoperability with partner nations and build strong military-to-military relationships. He, like many other U.S. Marines from the unit, look forward to the training.
“Working with the Thai Marines is quite an experience,” said Berkowicz. “There is a language barrier, but we share a special bond because we are both in the Marine Corps.”
CG 13, in its 32nd iteration, is the largest multinational exercise in the Asia-Pacific region that demonstrates commitment to building interoperability with participating nations and to supporting peace and stability in the region.