Maj. Gen. Trautman visits Korat, praises service members’ efforts during Cobra Gold
By Lance Cpl. Noah S. Leffler
| | May 10, 2007
KORAT ROYAL THAI AIR BASE, Thailand --
The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Commanding General paid a visit to the air base Tuesday during Exercise Cobra Gold 2007.
Cobra Gold is a regularly scheduled joint/combined multinational exercise and is the latest in the continuing series of U.S.-Thai military exercises. It is mutually beneficial for the Pacific partners to train together to improve interoperability and build friendly cooperative relations thus improving responses to contingencies such as the December 2004 Tsunami.
Maj. Gen. George J. Trautman III observed deployed operational capabilities here and spoke with commanders and their units during the stop.
“When the Commanding General can physically see the progress we are making, it makes it easier to relay that progress to Marine Forces Pacific,” said Lt. Col. Mark R. Wise, Marine Aircraft Group 12 executive officer.
“Communication is an enormous facilitator in these exercises,” he added. “He saw our operations are what he expected.”
During the visit, Trautman checked on the service members’ standard of living by touring the barracks and messing facilities. While stopping at work areas in the maintenance building and Quonset hut, Trautman personally thanked and talked to the Marines and sailors keeping aircraft flying and ground operations running smoothly.
“This is some exciting stuff,” said Trautman. “I want to thank you for pushing the edge of the envelope with what you’re doing here.”
Cpl. Phillip G. Benefield, Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224 flight equipment technician and San Augustine, Texas, native, spent time explaining a new Joint Helmet-Mounted Queuing System to the commanding general. The system uses state-of-the-art electronics to project a “Heads-Up Display” on the visor of the pilot’s helmet, and Trautman was eager to try on and learn about the new equipment.
“It’s good when the higher-ups want to see what’s coming down technology-wise,” said Benefield. “I enjoy any time I can show (the JHMQS) off.”
Sgt. Will J. Ryder, Combat Logistics Company 36 motor transportation mechanic and native of Crystal Lake, Ill., feels the visit was a morale-boost for the service members working hard to support the exercise.
“When he comes to see how Marines work in their (Military Occupational Specialties), it shows that he cares about what his Marines do best,” Ryder said.
More stories, photos and videos are availible at www.apan-info.net/cobragold.