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NAKHON RATCHASIMA PROVINCE, Thailand (Feb. 23, 2017) -- The Ban Non Lueam school expansion project is the result of the joint efforts of Multi-National Forces from the U.S., Thailand, India and China, part of Cobra Gold 2017. Cobra Gold, in its 36th iteration, is the largest Theater Security Cooperation exercise in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. This year’s focus is to advance regional security and ensure effective responses to regional crises by bringing together a robust multinational force to address shared goals and security commitments in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Castaneda

Multipurpose room dedication draws Cobra Gold conclusion, seals international ties

24 Feb 2017 | Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Castaneda U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand Glyn T. Davies, along with Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand Bhagwant Sing Bishnoi, and Chief of Joint Staff of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, Gen. Tarnchaiyan Srisuwan attended the dedication ceremony at the Ban Non Lueam School in the Nakhon Ratchasima Province of Thailand, Feb. 23, for the expansion of the school constructed over the past month by Multi-National Forces during Exercise Cobra Gold 2017. 

During the 36th iteration of Cobra Gold, the exercise showcased new participating nations from the 2016 iteration. In 2014, China was invited to support Cobra Gold; in 2015 while India was the newest addition to the Cobra Gold exercise. Three years later, the efforts have come full circle at the particular site of Ban Non Lueam, where India helped pave the way toward this specific engineering civil action project, supported by the U.S., Thailand and China. The result proved the solid bond and the long-standing partnership between allied nations.

“The addition of these two great nations is a reflection of Cobra Gold’s regional importance and the benefits of U.S.-Thai alliance, not only to our two countries, but to the entire Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Davies. “The service members here today are building our future in a literal, concrete way. That’s why we wanted to be here today to honor and recognize their work.”

Military forces from the King of Thailand, United States, India and China helped build the multipurpose classroom at Ban Non Lueam. The ENCAP is one of the main focuses for Cobra Gold this year, which were aimed to improve life quality of the students and people in the training areas, while enhancing the existing partnership between allied nations.

“This has been a great experience, not only for me, but for everybody involved,” said Maj. Sharad Godiyal, from the Indian Army Corps of Engineers. “This is our first actual military exercise we were able to participate in and we have learned a lot from our partner nations. We have learned, though we are from different parts of the world, different militaries, we have much more in common than we thought.”

As the exercise conclusion draws near, one thing shared across all participating nations is the hope that the efforts made in this year’s exercise will have a lasting impression and impact on the people and the Kingdom of Thailand.

“This multipurpose room, one of six being built during this year’s Cobra Gold, will help the children and the community at Ban Non Lueam to have a better future,” Davies continued. “Ensuring that the students at Ban Non Lueam are armed with knowledge and filled with passion to reach their full potential is the deepest meaning of security. What we have accomplished here and at the other humanitarian civic action sites across Thailand will prepare these young students for their future and will help bring peace and prosperity to the Kingdom of Thailand and in the region.”
U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific