2IBCT builds partnerships at Cobra Gold 18

| March 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

U.S. Army Sgt. Jim Partida, a Soldier from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division and their counterparts from the Royal Thai Armed Forces 133rd Infantry Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment team up in a competition to create a fire using friction at the Jungle Survival Training Site on Camp Friendship, Korat, Feb. 15, 2018 as part of Exercise Cobra Gold 18. U.S. Soldiers are wearing the U.S. ArmyÕs experimental jungle uniform. Cobra Gold 18 provides a venue for the United States and Thailand, along with allied and partner nations to advance interoperability and increase partner capacity in planning and executing complex and realistic multinational force and combined task force operations. Cobra Gold 18 is an annual exercise conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand held from Feb. 13-23 with seven full participating nations. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. David N. Beckstrom)

Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. David N. Beckstrom
2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

KORAT, Thailand — Throughout every major conflict, U.S. forces have worked closely with foreign partners at multiple echelons.

Without interoperability and partnerships between foreign allies, accomplishing the mission could be much more difficult.

This is why exercises such as Cobra Gold are so important for service members of the U.S. military, said U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Johnson Lamwatthananon, a platoon leader with 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, “Warrior Brigade,” 25th Infantry Division.

U.S. Army Engineers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division and their Royal Thai Armed Forces counterparts from the 133rd Infantry Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment rush to destroy an enemy entry control point with a Bangalore during a life fire exercise during Exercise Cobra Gold 2018 at Phu Lam Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, Feb. 18, 2018. U.S. Soldiers are wearing experimental jungle uniforms through the duration of the exercise. Cobra Gold 18 provides a venue for the United States, allied and partner nations to advance interoperability and increase partner capacity in planning and executing complex and realistic multinational force and combined task force operations. Cobra Gold 18 is an annual exercise conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand held from Feb. 13-23 with seven full participating nations. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. David N. Beckstrom)

Building relationships with soldiers from allied nations allows the U.S. military to work seamlessly with them and accomplish any mission that comes their way.

Cobra Gold 2018 (CG18) is a Thailand and U.S. co-sponsored theater security cooperation exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand. 2018 is the 37th iteration of the exercise, which is designed to advance regional security and ensure effective responses to regional crises by bringing together multinational forces in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

During CG 18, Soldiers of the “Warrior Brigade” continued to build that interoperability throughout Thailand as they worked shoulder-to-shoulder with their counterparts from the 133rd Inf. Bn., 23rd Inf. Regt. of the Royal Thai Army from Feb. 13-23.

“In a world filled with countless nations and people, having allies to work with is an important part of our national defense module,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col James Hart, commander of the 1st Bn. 21st Inf. Regt. “This is why the partnerships and friendships built during Cobra Gold are so pivotal.”

During CG 18, Soldiers of 2IBCT participated in several round robin style training events, to include Military Operations in an urban environment, a combat stress shoot, squad training exercises and jungle survival training. They also worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the Royal Thai Army to conduct live-fire exercises and participate in a culminating combined arms live-fire exercise.

U.S. Army Spc. Kacey Langley, a Soldier with 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, watches as a soldier from the Royal Thai Armed Forces shows how they sharpen their weapons for survival in an isolated environment at the Jungle Survival training site as part of Exercise Cobra Gold 18 on Camp Friendship, Korat, Feb. 15, 2018. U.S. Soldiers are wearing the U.S. ArmyÕs experimental jungle uniform. Exercise Cobra Gold 18 provides a venue for the United States and Thailand, along with allied and partner nations to advance interoperability and increase partner capacity in planning and executing complex and realistic multinational force and combined task force operations. Cobra Gold 18 is an annual exercise conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand held from Feb. 13-23 with seven full participating nations. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. David N. Beckstrom)

“As we worked with the American forces, we were able to understand how they operate while showing them how we do that same task,” said Royal Thai Army 2nd Lt. Nattapat Sooksiri, a rifle platoon leader with 133rd Inf. Bn., 23rd Inf. Regt. “As we go forward, we can take the best parts of each others’ techniques and apply them to how we accomplish the mission.”

As the U.S. military continues to work in a joint and combined environment every day, being able to do so at the lowest level can help prepare U.S. service members for success when called for real-world contingencies with foreign allied partners.

“I hope that my Soldiers understand the importance and magnitude that exercises like Cobra Gold bring to the table,” said Sgt. John Murray, a team leader with B Company, 1st Bn. 21st Inf. Regt. “If we were to deploy to a combat zone with the Royal Thai Army, the relationships (that) build upon trust that have been formed here will allow us to be much more effective on the battlefield. Working with these Soldiers now will better prepare us for anything we are called to do.”

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