Thailand and US launch annual Cobra Gold military exercise

BANGKOK (AP) – Thailand and the United States (US) hosted the opening ceremony for the annual Cobra Gold military exercise, the biggest activity of its type in the Asia-Pacific region with 29 nations taking part as participants or observers.

Seven nations in addition to Thailand and the United States are active participants: Singapore, Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea.

Acting Head of the US Diplomatic Mission in Thailand Peter Haymond said at the ceremony yesterday in northern Thailand that the aim of the exercise, first held in 1982, is to strengthen cooperation and inter-operability.

There are three major components of the exercise, which ends on February 22: Military field training, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training.

Royal Thai Armed Forces General Pornpipat Benyasri shakes hands with Commander US Army First Corps representing US Indo-Pacific Command Lieutenant General Gary J Volesky during the opening ceremony of the joint military exercise Cobra Gold 2019 in Phitsanulok Province, Thailand. – AP