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29th annual Cobra Gold opening ceremony kicks off exercise, promotes unity

UTAPAO, Thailand – The 29th annual Cobra Gold exercise presented the perfect picture of unity among nations as the exercise kicked off with an opening ceremony, Feb.1.


By U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jovane M. Holland
February 1, 2010

Hosted by the Kingdom of Thailand, Cobra Gold is an annual Thailand and U.S. co-sponsored joint and multi-national theater campaign plan exercise designed to train a coalition task force comprised of the armed forces of Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore and the US.

As the ceremony began, the participating nations marched in one after the other, displaying a brilliant spectrum of different uniforms and flags.

Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commanding general, U.S. Army, Pacific and co-exercise commander, said the annual exercise was an exceptional opportunity for the participating nations to develop lasting friendships and enhance cooperation.

“It’s imperative our separate militaries learn to work with each other; together and rehearse for the day their services are needed to answer that call for help,” said Mixon.

During Cobra Gold 2010, participating nations will participate in a Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative Exercise, a Command Post Exercise, HCA projects and field training exercises.

Eric John, U.S. ambassador to Thailand, said it is imperative the various militaries work together to support peace and stability.

“This is the capstone of military operations, from disaster relief to real combat capabilities,” said John while speaking of Cobra Gold. “It is very much a mark of each participating military’s commitment to the welfare of their nation.”

Mixon said he was proud of the past achievements of Cobra Gold 2009, and was sure Cobra Gold 2010 would also be a major success.

“I firmly believe Cobra Gold remains unparalleled in preparing our militaries for the real-world priorities of humanitarian assistance as well as supporting peace, stability and reconstruction throughout this region,” Mixon said. “Thanks to all of your efforts, Cobra Gold remains a mark of our combined commitment to regional stability in Southeast Asia