Opening ceremony marks start of Cobra Gold FTX
By Lance Cpl. Adam Miller
| | February 15, 2013
BAN CHAN KREM, Kingdom of Thailand --
Thai and U.S. forces held an opening ceremony Feb. 11 in Ban Chan Krem, Kingdom of Thailand, to mark the start of exercise Cobra Gold 2013 field training exercises.
Cobra Gold is a recurring, multinational and multiservice exercise hosted annually by Thailand and developed by the Thai and U.S. militaries.
During the exercise, forces from Thailand, the U.S., Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia conduct training designed to enhance interoperability and strengthen regional relationships.
“I think the opening ceremony is a great way to start an exercise like this because it sets the tone, and it brings us together to greet each other before we actually start our training with the Royal Thai Marines,” said U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Chris P. O’Connor, commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Expectations for Cobra Gold are that the U.S. Marines get a great experience training alongside their Thai counterparts, explained O’Connor, who also mentioned plans of developing an integrated training plan between the Thais and U.S. to further facilitate the exchange of basic tactics, techniques and procedures.
The FTX is designed to advance regional security and ensure effective response to regional crises by exercising a vigorous multinational force from nations sharing common goals and security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.
“I hope that we can learn from the Marines, and that we can show them what we know about conducting operations in this region of Thailand,” said Royal Thai Marine Lt. Cmdr. Banjerd Adium, commanding officer of 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry. “We are here to show our commitment to the long-standing relationship between Thailand and the United States and to hopefully build upon that relationship.”
This year marks the 180th year of the strong Thai-U.S. relationship and demonstrates the commitment between the allies toward prosperity and security in the Asia-Pacific region.