Cobra Gold jumpstarts U.S. Army Pathways 16-01

| February 19, 2016 | 0 Comments
Soldiers are in 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Pvt. 2nd Class Nicholas Vogel, a native of upstate New York, runs to provide security for Pfc. Eric Colon, a native of Puerto Rico, laying on the ground, pretending to sustain injuries during a joint training scenario with the Royal Thai military, Feb. 10, 2016 in Lop Buri, Thailand. The Royal Thai military watch and wait for their opportunity to partner with U.S. troops and conduct training during the Cobra Gold 16 combined exercise. Working together soldiers conduct combined task force training that is vital to maintaining the readiness and interoperability of security forces across the region.

Soldiers provide security during a joint training scenario with the Royal Thai military, Feb. 10, in Lop Buri, Thailand.

 

Sgt. 1st Class Mellettis Patton
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

UTAPAO, Thailand — The opening ceremony for Cobra Gold 16 brought together more than two dozen participating countries, Feb. 9, at Royal Thai Marine Corps Headquarters, Sattahip Chonburi Province, Thailand.

Thailand and the United States co-host the annual, multilateral Cobra Gold exercise, part of three Pacific Pathways missions U.S. Pacific Command oversees, partnering with countries across the Indo-Asian Pacific region.

“We all face the same challenges; we can only solve them by working together,” said U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, Glyn T. Davies, during the Cobra Gold 16 opening ceremony.

Soldiers in 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, partner with soldiers in the Royal Thai Armed Forces during Cobra Gold 16, to teach how to proper applying a tourniquet and provide security. Staff Sgt. Roy Starbeck coaches a soldier in the Royal Thai Armed Forces on how to apply a tourniquet, Private 1st Class Eric Colon a native of Puerto Rico lays on the ground pretending to sustain injuries during a joint training scenario with the Royal Thai military, Feb. 10, 2016 in Lop Buri, Thailand as his Thai partner assist with medical aid. During Cobra Gold 16 soldiers work together to conduct combined task force training that is vital to maintaining the readiness and interoperability of security forces across the region.

Staff Sgt. Roy Starbeck coaches a soldier in the Royal Thai Armed Forces on how to apply a tourniquet, as Pfc. Eric Colon acts as a casualty during a joint training scenario. During Cobra Gold 16, soldiers work together to conduct combined task force training that is vital to maintaining the readiness and interoperability of security forces across the region.

Cobra Gold is the largest exercise in the Pacific region, and every Soldier has a special part in developing partnerships.

“Everyone who values the security and development of the Asia-Pacific region knows about Cobra Gold and its excellent reputation as the largest, the most wide-ranging and most valuable military exercise in this vital part of the plant,” said Davies. “It is known around the world as the gold standard for multilateral military exercises. Looking out today at the uniforms of over two dozen countries gathered as one team underscores that point.”

“This is my second time attending Cobra Gold,” said Cpl. Sapajong Itsariya, a member of the Royal Thai Air Force, who had the opportunity to speak with soldiers from many different militaries before the opening ceremonies. “This exercise is the biggest in the country.”

U.S. Soldiers and Royal Thai Armed Forces troops have different points of view during Cobra Gold, but they share the same objective: to address regional and global security challenges and to promote International Corporation and stability in the region.

“Having the opportunity to fellowship with the Thai Army is unique,” said Spc. Robert Crawford, air condition mechanic, Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, who held the USPACOM flag during the ceremony.

After the ceremony, Crawford said he was thinking about the unity represented by the many militaries and countries present.

“I probably will not have another chance like this,” said Crawford. “I’ve always wanted to travel the word, and that is what I am doing.”

Crawford is also working in Thailand as part of the set up and operation for a command post exercise (CPX) and early entry command post, here.

The CPX is a combined task force with multinational planning scenarios and objectives for partner nations to conduct security operations, humanitarian missions and counter-piracy.

Col. James P. Smith, chief, Information Operations, 25th ID, said the CPX helps work out some of the hurdles that go along with planning joint missions, such as multinational language barriers and different cultural backgrounds.

“I work with our partner nations, making new and awesome friends,” said Smith.

As national security professionals, the duty as a military is to stay vigilant and prepared to address new threats, such as diseases, natural disasters, terrorism, piracy and climate change, Davies said.

“Practicing makes us better prepared to handle real world events,” said Smith. “This is my first time here, and I am glad to be a part of it. I have met great officers from other nations and hope to see them again.”

“All Soldiers share a common language,” said Smith. “They know how to shoot, march, follow and lead. It is valuable for them to experience other countries.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, Exercises, News

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