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    Cobra Gold 19: US, Royal Thai Marines increase lethality in live fire exercise

    Cobra Gold 19: Royal Thai, US Marines conduct combined arms live-fire exercise

    Photo By Sgt. Mary Calkin | Royal Thai and U.S. Marines run back to the assault amphibious vehicle during Cobra...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Ron Keenan 

    U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs Office

    U.S. and Royal Thai Marines advanced toward their objective as an array of supporting fire from ground and air assets dropped live ordnance on targets scattered throughout the battlefield at Ban Chan Krem, Thailand on Wednesday. An unmanned aerial vehicle provided a live video feed to commanders situated on a hilltop a short distance away.

    The Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Royal Thai Marines have been training together for the past three weeks to improve interoperability, increase lethality and promote regional security as part of Exercise Cobra Gold 19. The annual event is the largest theater security cooperation exercise in southeast Asia.

    “If you were the enemy of the Kingdom of Thailand or the United States and you were sitting up on that objective and we’re attacking combined, jointly, toward that objective, that enemy would not survive,” said Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, Commander of III Marine Expeditionary Force. “That is a power that helps this region to stay stable, because people understand that if we need to fight together, we will and we can. That keeps this region very stable and calm.”

    In addition to learning how to plan and operate with each other during this combined arms live-fire exercise, U.S. and Royal Thai Marines are increasing one of their hallmark traits: lethality.

    “It makes us more lethal because we’re incorporating a lot of combined assets to the fight,” said Capt. Melvin Spiese, the company commander for Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 31st MEU. “Not only from the U.S., but from our Royal Thai and our other coalition partners, so that if there ever is a crisis we will be able to understand, coordinate and execute. That’s what makes us more lethal.”

    At the training site, U.S. Marines breached the final obstacle, paving the way for the infantry of the Royal Thai Marines to attack the final objective.

    This is exactly the type of training which attracted Petty Officer 1 Marut Hanracha to the Royal Thai Marine Corps.

    “The Marines are the best everywhere, we are the strongest in all the military,” said Hanracha. “Marines are really serious and we pay a lot of attention to this training.”

    “I love being a partner to the U.S. Marines,” he added.

    Within minutes U.S. and Royal Thai Marines destroyed the objective and began reconsolidating at their rally point.

    “Marines can focus our attention to a lot of different mission sets at any time and we’re able to execute on short notice,” said Spiese.

    “This is where we got called to, this is where are focus needed to be and we were prepared,” he added. “Any place, any time, any climb.”

    Exercise Cobra Gold, in its 38th iteration, is designed to advance regional security and ensure effective responses to regional crises by bringing together a robust multinational force to address shared goals and security commitments in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.



    Date Taken: 02.20.2019
    Date Posted: 02.21.2019 09:54
    Story ID: 311365
    Location: CHANTABURI , TH

    Web Views: 243
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