SATTAHIP, Kingdom of Thailand—The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted an amphibious assault alongside Royal Thai Marines in Sattahip, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 14 as a part of exercise Cobra Gold 13.
The exercise is a Thai-U.S. co-sponsored multinational, multiservice exercise that includes forces from Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and observers from other countries in the region.
The exercise allows U.S. Marines and sailors to gain a better understanding of different cultures allowing them to build personal friendships and further their ability to work with their partner nations, according to U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, commander of Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet.
“Exercises like Cobra Gold are important to build interoperability with our partners and allies, it shows our determination and resolve, and gives us a great opportunity to builds friendships,” said Harley.
Regardless of the language barrier, Thai and U.S. Marines are able to communicate nonverbally through their mutual military professionalism, explained U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Terry Johnson, commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 31st MEU.
“The common denominator is mutual profession of arms, which I believe is a universal language,” said Johnson.
The training gives U.S. Marines a firsthand look at Royal Thai military tactics, which enhances military-to-military partnership and the two nations’ ability to work together in the future, said U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Rick J. Meyers, a platoon sergeant with the Battalion Landing Team, 1st Bn., 5th Marines.
“This training allows us to see other countries’ tactics, view the similarities and differences, and view their capabilities,” said Meyers.
Both Thai and U.S. forces enjoyed the opportunity to work together, said Royal Thai Navy Chief Pretty Officer 1st class Tanin Surarak. The training strengthened their collective knowledge, making both militaries more familiar with one another and increasing their interoperability.
“I really enjoyed training with the U.S. Marines, we benefit through shared tactics,” said Surarak.
Members of both forces enjoyed the training and the ability to work side-by-side with one another.
“The Marines and sailors are very happy to be working alongside the Thais, it's a great experience for all,” said Johnson.
CG 13, in its 32nd iteration, is the largest multinational exercise in the Asia-Pacific region and demonstrates the commitment of participating nations to building interoperability and supporting peace and stability in the region.