News: Community involvement vital during Cobra Gold 2014
Story by Spc. Tyler Meister
PHITSANULOK, Thailand - Despite being the most remote construction site of Exercise Cobra Gold 2014, multinational forces have came together with the community to improvise and overcome any challenges leading up to the pillar raising ceremony at the Wat Kun Son School District, Chanthaburi province, Kingdom of Thailand, Jan. 31.
Standard with any construction site, every project of Cobra Gold 14 has overcame complications with their counterparts to stay on schedule. CG 14 is a Thai-U.S. co-sponsored exercise committed to improving regional partnership, prosperity and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
When work came to an abrupt halt at site four, a local village leader stepped up and provided the connections to utilize a backhoe in order to continue progress on a new school house.
“It was awesome to see the local community get involved with the project, said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Daniel Moore, the officer in charge of the site with the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3. “The backhoe was paramount to help stay on schedule and combat any time lost with transporting supplies to our remote location.”
U.S. Army forces attended Cobra Gold 2014 in support of U.S. Army Pacific.
Once complete, the new building will house three rooms and four computers for the school and community to benefit from. The project also created new access roads and cleared a large field of vegetation that became a sports field for the kids.
Moore and his Seabees have been working with the Royal Thai Marine Corps Engineer Battalion under the command of Chief Engineer, Lt. Panya, to complete the project. Panya has participated in Exercise Cobra Gold for the last 20 years and is familiar with improvising with other nations to get the job done.
“I am very impressed with our team and how much we have been able to overcome any issues and improvise, said Panya. “Even with a language barrier, our team has been able to become very close and work well with each other.”
Panya feels the entire community can benefit from Cobra Gold and it gives the Thai people a chance to both learn and share knowledge with other nations.
Moore said he is thankful for the community’s support and feels his team will complete the project on time by Feb. 20.