The Marine Corps has teamed up with the Kingdom of Thailand and several other Asian-Pacific nations for exercise Cobra Gold 2012 in the Asia-Pacific region Jan. 15 through Feb. 17.
As Americas longest standing ally in the Asia-Pacific region, Thailand annually hosts Cobra Gold to strengthen military ties with the U.S. and to improve interoperability between nations.
From its beginning in 1982, Cobra Gold has been a vital part of the U.S. strategy in the Pacific. Cobra Gold reinforces recent statements of executive leadership and the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos regarding our commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, more than any other exercise in the United States Pacific Command.
Nearly 7,000 service members, most of them Marines from III Marine Expeditionary Force and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are participating.
This year, Cobra Gold includes a computer-simulated command-post exercise, training scenarios depicting simulated United Nations peace enforcement operations, humanitarian and civic assistance projects, and a field training exercise.
Not all of Cobra Gold is training, however. Marines also participate in many humanitarian projects, including construction of a school.
We are here to help (our Thai counterparts) build the school, to learn from them; to teach them what we have to offer, said Lance Cpl. Alex Wisecup, a combat engineer with Marine Wing Support Squadron 172.
The school is one of six structures Marines will help build over the next month.
In addition, the U.S., Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan will all participate in humanitarian and civic assistance projects designed to improve the quality of life and local infrastructure for the Thai people, making the exercise one of the largest in the world of its kind.
Humanitarian and civic assistance programs conducted during exercise Cobra Gold 2012 are a tribute to the resolve of all participating nations to support the needs and humanitarian interests of friends and regional partners.
Yearly training exercises likethiskeep the Marines prepared for rescue efforts and humanitarian assistance in real-life crises like the flooding in Thailand.
To connect with Cobra Cold coverage visit the exercise on Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/ExerciseCobraGold.