News: Marines arrive in Thailand for Exercise Cobra Gold 2014
Story by Cpl. James Smith
NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand - Service members from Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, arrived at Wing One Royal Thai Air Force Base, Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 1 to prepare for Exercise Cobra Gold 2014.
Exercise Cobra Gold is an annual multinational exercise conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand designed to exercise multinational joint interoperability.
Upon their arrival, service members received briefs and instructions about the base, what is to be expected of them during their stay in Thailand and information about the upcoming exercise.
“Exercise Cobra Gold has been going on for 33 years, and for me, this is the third time I’ve participated in it,” said Maj. Daniel Knutson, assistant operations officer with MAG-12. “The exercise allows us to train with and work with the Thai forces in both air-to-air and air-to-ground sorties.”
CG 14 is a way to learn from each other and increase interoperability, said Knutson.
Pilots from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, currently assigned to MAG-12 under the unit deployment program, flew into Wing One Royal Thai Air Force Base Feb. 2 and received a warm welcome from their Thai hosts.
“The ceremony is made to welcome pilots from another squadron coming to Wing One,” said Group Captain Narong Intachat, commander of Wing One, Royal Thai Air Force. “We get the chance to welcome them, ask them about the flight here and hope that they enjoy the exercise. Exercise Cobra Gold is the biggest exercise in the Asia-Pacific region and is very important to the Royal Thai Air Force.”
With service members on the ground and more expected to arrive in a few days, many train and prepare in anticipation for the start of CG 14.
“What I’m looking forward to the most out of this exercise is flying with the Royal Thai Air Force, learning from their tactics and working side-by-side with one another,” said Knutson.