US, Thailand kick Off Cobra Gold 2023 Military Exercises


By Nontarat Phaicharoen

The United States and its ally Thailand on Tuesday kicked off Cobra Gold – Southeast Asia’s largest annual military exercise – with a pre-pandemic number of participants and nods to the 190th anniversary of the bilateral relationship.

Nearly 10,000 troops will participate in military drills and humanitarian missions through March 10, including about 6,000 from a U.S. warship strike group, 2,601 Thai personnel and representatives from 28 countries.  A live-fire exercise in Lop Buri province will wrap up the 42nd training exercise.

 “Through Cobra Gold, we demonstrate our resolve to respond together to future challenges, preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific where all nations can prosper,” Adm. John Aquilino, U.S. Indo-Pacific commander, told participating troops and guests at the opening ceremony.

“Cobra Gold is a wonderful example of multilateral cooperation, which is the foundation of regional and global security.”

Robert F. Godec, the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, and Gen. Chalermpol Srisawat, the Thai military chief, joined Aquilino at the opening ceremony. Ambassadors from five countries participating in combat drills – Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea – were also present.

South Korea sent 581 troops and Japan sent 146, the third- and fourth-largest contingents.

Chalermpol delivered a positive message to attendees.

“Participants from 30 countries have the same beautiful goal – to meet a new friend – I wish all will befriend each other and share your experiences together,” he said in his remarks.

While they will not be involved in the military drills, China’s 21 troops will join others, including from India and Australia, in performing humanitarian projects such as construction of multi-purpose buildings for schools and disaster relief training.

A space exercise focusing on how solar storms and other phenomena can affect military operations will be held for the first time, a U.S. embassy statement said. Military and civilian agencies from the U.S., Thailand and Japan are scheduled to participate.

“Today, Cobra Gold is an exercise that is focused on the future. It brings together 30 countries from around the world to solve complex challenges that no single country can solve alone,” Godec said in prepared remarks.

“Only through cooperation can we rise to these challenges and keep our people safe.”


BenarNews’ mission is to provide readers with accurate news and information that reflects the complex and ever-changing world around them. With homepages in Bengali, Thai, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and English, BenarNews brings timely news to its diverse audience. Copyright BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews

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