Thai Marines conduct beach raid training during Cobra Gold
By Sgt. Ethan E. Rocke and Cpl. Mark Fayloga
| | May 11, 2007
HATYAO BEACH, CHON BURI, Thailand --
Royal Thai Marines stormed ashore at Thailand’s Hatyao Beach, May 11 during amphibious raid training as part of Cobra Gold 2007, an annual U.S. and Thai exercise now in its 26th year.
The amphibious assault is a small piece of the many training exercises comprising Cobra Gold. Exercise Cobra Gold is a regularly scheduled joint/combined multinational exercise designed to ensure regional peace and strengthen the ability of the Royal Thai armed forces to defend Thailand and respond to regional contingencies such as the 2004 tsunami relief effort.
In addition to the training being conducted, several Pacific partner nations, such as China, Bangladesh, India and Mongolia, are attending as part of a Multinational Planning Augmentation Team observing many of the training evolutions enhancing the military to military relationships. These relationships help foster a more cohesive environment should a contingency arise in the future.
The Thai Marines and sailors sharpened their skills with the same enthusiasm and proficiency they demonstrate every year during Cobra Gold, according to Royal Thai Lt. Yossaputt Poonkasame, commander of the infantry company that conducted the raid.
Poonkasame said he participated in Cobra Gold with U.S. forces in previous years.
The half century of combined training was visible during the assault, which lasted about an hour.
The assault began with Amphibious Assault Vehicles making their way to the beach from a Thai ship just offshore.
The Royal Thai Marines poured out of the vehicles as they landed, taking up positions and forming a line stretching across the beach. The infantry squads then leapfrogged toward simulated enemy aggressors, laying down fire for one another and maintaining a sweeping wall of firepower.
In the midst of the assault, involving two waves of Marines, a Thai helicopter swept in to conduct a simulated medical evacuation. The exercise concluded not long after that.
The raid was quick but, nonetheless effective in strengthening the ability of the Royal Thai Armed Forces to defend Thailand – one of Cobra Gold’s many objectives. Poonkasame was pleased with the efficiency of his troops.
“I think the event was successful,” said Poonkasame. “(My troops) executed orders immediately. The training was good and they worked very hard.”
More stories, photos and videos are availible at www.apan-info.net/cobragold.