Asia-Pacific region’s largest multinational exercise begins in Thailand

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Marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force have already begun humanitarian and civic assistance projects in Thailand preceding the official kickoff of Exercise Cobra Gold 2012 Feb. 7.

CG 12 is the 31st iteration of an annual exercise hosted in Thailand and is designed to advance regional security by exercising a robust multinational force from nations sharing common goals and security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Brian Clemens, deputy commanding officer, Combined Joint Military Operations Task Force, Navy Mobile Construction Batallion 40, left, speaks with Royal Thai Army Col. Chaimongkol Pralomram, right, at the Wat Chalheamlap School in Chonburi. (Photo by Cpl. Jessica Olivas) U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Brian Clemens, deputy commanding officer, Combined Joint Military Operations Task Force, Navy Mobile Construction Batallion 40, left, speaks with Royal Thai Army Col. Chaimongkol Pralomram, right, at the Wat Chalheamlap School in Chonburi. (Photo by Cpl. Jessica Olivas)

Multinational responses to regional contingencies are likely to be the norm in the future. It is mutually beneficial for friends and allies to train together to improve interoperability and build friendly cooperative relations.

Full participating nations for CG 12 include Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia. Several other countries have been invited to participate on the multinational planning augmentation team, including Australia, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Italy, India, Nepal, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Royal Thai Navy, Malaysian forces and U.S. Navy Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40 apply stucco to a wall of a multipurpose building at the Wat Chalheamlap Temple School as part of Exercise Cobra Gold 2012, in Chonburi, Feb. 1. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Carl Payne)Royal Thai Navy, Malaysian forces and U.S. Navy Seabees with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40 apply stucco to a wall of a multipurpose building at the Wat Chalheamlap Temple School as part of Exercise Cobra Gold 2012, in Chonburi, Feb. 1. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Carl Payne)

Throughout the exercise, U.S. military forces and militaries from several other countries worldwide will conduct field training exercises, involving live-fire training as well as a noncombatant evacuation exercise, a command-post exercise, which will serve as a certification event for a joint task force headquarters staff by U.S. Pacific Command, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects, some of which will contribute to current flood recovery efforts. Additionally, senior leaders will meet together during the senior leader seminar, sharing knowledge with one another and building relationships.

CG 12 will improve capability to plan and conduct combined-joint operations, build relationships between partner nations and improve interoperability across the range of military operations.

Total forces participating in exercise is approximately 13,000.

The exercise is scheduled to end Feb. 17.