News: 25th ID arrives to support Cobra Gold 14
Story by Spc. Tyler Meister
PHITSANULOK, Thailand - With just a few days until the official start of Exercise Cobra Gold 2014, approximately 500 soldiers with 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and selected staff sections from the 25th Infantry Division staff arrived at Phitsanulok International Airport, Mueang District, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 6, 2014.
They are the U.S. Army's main body slated to participate in the field training exercise (FTX) portion of CG 14, a Thai-U.S. co-sponsored exercise committed to improving regional partnership, prosperity and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
The 25th ID soldiers will work side-by-side with numerous nations during a series of combined arms live-fire exercise, amphibious landing exercises, a strategic airdrop, and multinational events in diverse terrain.
“I’m excited to work with the Royal Thai Army and see Thailand for the first time,” said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hewitt, a squad leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd SBCT, 25th ID. “We will be supporting squad-level fire exercises where we can learn and teach each other.”
Like Hewitt, this will be the first time in Thailand for many of the 25th ID soldiers. Many of them also expressed a sense of excitement and curiosity at the opportunity to explore Thailand and interact with the various nations involved.
U.S. Army forces attended Cobra Gold 2014 in support of U.S. Army Pacific.
Cobra Gold is in its 33rd iteration and is a joint effort from various participating nations to include the Kingdom of Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The People’s Republic of China also marked their first appearance in CG as a member of the humanitarian civic assistance team.
“This will be my first time in the Asia-Pacific region,” said 1st Lt. Steven Poland, a platoon leader with 1-21 Infantry, 25th ID. “I look forward to interacting with the locals.
This exercise will allow us an opportunity to learn some new jungle tactics with our experienced partners.”
During the field training exercise, forces from Thailand, the U.S. and the Republic of Korea will conduct training designed to enhance interoperability and strengthen regional relationships.
In other locations, military personnel from Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, will participate in humanitarian and civic assistance projects designed to improve the quality of life and local infrastructure for the Thai people, as well as to share medical best practices with the local population.