Military Exercise Cobra Gold 2017 begins in Thailand
The Cobra Gold 2017 assumes significance as it is the first joint military exercise since President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.
The Cobra Gold 2017 commenced on 14 February 2017 in Thailand. Cobra Gold is an annual multilateral military exercise co-sponsored by Thailand and the USA.
Highlights of Cobra Gold 2017
• The Cobra Gold 2017 is the 36th edition of the multinational military exercise.
• Around 30 nations will take part in the exercise that will continue till 24 February 2017.
• Cobra Gold includes a staff exercise with a senior leader seminar, a field training exercise and humanitarian civic assistance projects.
• Approximately 3,600 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines of the USA are involved in these activities.
• The exercise includes an amphibious assault demonstration, noncombatant evacuation operation and combined arms live fire exercise.
• The emphasis of the Cobra Gold 2017 is on coordination of civic actions such as humanitarian assistance.
• The exercise is a part of the USA’s efforts to expand regional cooperation and collaboration in vital areas such as disaster relief.
About Cobra Gold
• It is considered as the largest military exercise in the Asia-Pacific region. Thailand hosts the exercise every year.
• It is also among the largest multinational military exercise in which the USA participates.
• Cobra Gold has three distinct activities - the Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX), Command Post Exercise (CPX) and activity related to assisting the local Thai population.
• It was first held in 1982 to improve coordination between the armed forces of the USA and Thailand in both hostile military and humanitarian efforts.
• Some of the key participants in the exercise are Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.
• China participated in the exercise for the first time in 2015. India participated in the exercise in 2016.
• The exercise has proven its effectiveness in improving coordinated military response to natural disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2011 Tohoku tsunami.