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    Cobra Gold 2018: Amphibious Assault Exercise

    HAT YAO, THAILAND

    02.17.2018

    Story by Tech. Sgt. Michael Brown 

    III Marine Expeditionary Force   

    A loud explosion sending thousands of gallons of sea water into the air as a Royal Thai Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon strafes Hat Yao Beach in Rayong province, Thailand. This initial shock sets off the next wave of the assault exercise. Dozens of amphibious assault vehicles storm the beach carrying Republic of Korea, Thai and U.S. Marines. This unified effort to establish a beach head and secure the area for a noncombatant evacuation operation exercise is a staple of the Exercise Cobra Gold training plan.

    "The exercise begins with shaping the battle space," said Master Sgt. Brandon Brooks the assistant operations chief, III Marine Division. "We do this by first using Royal Thai Air Force F-16s and U.S. Marine F/A-18s to take out enemy air defenses to clear the beach for the amphibious assault vehicles."

    The training exercise moved quickly as forces from all over the world descended on the beach.

    "Once we took out the simulated objectives it cleared the way for the noncombatant evacuation operation portion of the exercise," said Brooks. " The combined joint forces of the Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Thailand and the United States worked together seamlessly to accomplish the task."

    A training event such as this does not just happen overnight. It takes planning to be able to coordinate forces and equipment.

    "We spent almost a year planning out this combined joint exercise," said Maj. Chris Winn operational planner, 3d Marine Division. "The amphibious assault set the conditions for the remainder of the forces."

    According to Winn the senior Thai navy commander was the overall lead for the amphibious task force and set the stage flawlessly for the next phase of the exercise.

    The thousands of armed forces from the combined joint forces practiced three times on the beach before the actual event. All of this practice was on display as a unified front of amphibious assault vehicles fired out smoke grenades creating a smoke screen to give them cover as they exited the water onto the beach.

    "Any amphibious assault sets the conditions for some other element," said Winn. "At the beach we secured, the assault set the tone for us to move civilians off the beach and onto the Republic of Korea ship for evacuation."

    Cobra Gold 18 maintains a consistent focus on Humanitarian Civic Action, community engagement and medical activities conducted during the exercise to support the needs and humanitarian interests of civilian populations around the region.

    The Republic of Korea ROKS Cheon Ja Bong and the USS Bonhomme Richard ships carried the assault element from points all over the world to launch the exercise and give logistical support for the mock civilian evacuation. Once the beach head was secure the assault exercise ended at the beach and picked up later at U-Tapao International Airport, Rayong province.

    With the beach secured and the amphibious assault portion done there was a collective sigh of relief. All of the planning and all of the time and effort from each supporting country was now complete.

    "Each country under their respective organizations brought a significant amount of combat power into the equation," said Winn. "All of the countries have been really great to work with. Together we planned the right way and had the right people to execute the plan. Overall this event went exceptionally well."

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.17.2018
    Date Posted: 02.19.2018 09:57
    Story ID: 266444
    Location: HAT YAO, TH 

    Web Views: 209
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