Cobra Gold 2012 to Promote Partnership, Interoperability

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2012 — Cobra Gold, the Unit­ed States’ longest-stand­ing mil­i­tary exer­cise in the Pacif­ic, kicks off this week­end, bring­ing togeth­er more than 10,000 mem­bers of the U.S. and six oth­er mil­i­taries to focus on inter­op­er­abil­i­ty and multi­na­tion­al coor­di­na­tion and train­ing.

Almost 7,000 U.S. ser­vice mem­bers, most of them Marines from the 3rd Marine Expe­di­tionary Force, will par­tic­i­pate in Cobra Gold 2012, which kicks off Jan. 15 and con­tin­ues through Feb. 17, Marine Corps Maj. Chris­t­ian Devine, a U.S. Pacif­ic Com­mand spokesman, report­ed. This year’s exer­cise is the 31st iter­a­tion of the annu­al exer­cise host­ed by Thai­land and the Unit­ed States since 1980.

In addi­tion to about 3,400 Thai ser­vice mem­bers, mem­bers of the Indone­sian, Japan­ese, Malaysian, Sin­ga­pore­an and South Kore­an mil­i­taries will par­tic­i­pate, Devine said. Oth­er region­al states have been invit­ed to send observers as well.

This year’s Cobra Gold will include a com­put­er-sim­u­lat­ed com­mand-post exer­cise, train­ing sce­nar­ios depict­ing multi­na­tion­al sim­u­lat­ed U.N. peace enforce­ment oper­a­tions, human­i­tar­i­an and civic assis­tance projects and a field train­ing exer­cise, Devine said.

The com­mand post exer­cise will com­bine mem­bers of each par­tic­i­pat­ing country’s mil­i­taries work­ing togeth­er in a multi­na­tion­al force head­quar­ters, he report­ed.

Mean­while, forces from Thai­land, South Korea, Malaysia and the Unit­ed States will con­duct field train­ing exer­cis­es that include com­bined arms and multi­na­tion­al events.

In addi­tion, Thai­land, the Unit­ed States, Sin­ga­pore, Indone­sia, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan will par­tic­i­pate in human­i­tar­i­an and civic assis­tance projects designed to improve the qual­i­ty of life and local infra­struc­ture for the Thai peo­ple, Devine said.

Some of the projects, he said, will con­tribute to ongo­ing flood recov­ery efforts the Unit­ed States has been sup­port­ing in Thai­land since Octo­ber.

Expe­ri­ence gained dur­ing the exer­cise helps ensure par­tic­i­pants are able to work togeth­er to respond to crises across the range of mil­i­tary oper­a­tions, Devine said.

On a broad­er lev­el, Cobra Gold and oth­er exer­cis­es pro­mote coop­er­a­tive secu­ri­ty frame­works that are vital to main­tain­ing region­al peace and secu­ri­ty, he said, and to suc­cess­ful­ly address­ing shared threats and chal­lenges.

U.S. par­tic­i­pa­tion in Cobra Gold 12 also sup­ports the Unit­ed States’ and Pacom’s com­mit­ment to Thai­land, its old­est ally in the region, and to region­al part­ner­ship, pros­per­i­ty and secu­ri­ty in the Asia-Pacif­ic region, he said.

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma, Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta and Army Gen. Mar­tin E. Dempsey, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rein­forced this com­mit­ment in the new defense strate­gic guid­ance issued last week. The guid­ance under­scores the grow­ing strate­gic impor­tance of Asia and the Pacif­ic.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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