The annual multinational combined joint training exercise, Cobra Gold 2013, has started in the Pacific in Thailand, aimed at enhancing peace support and stability operations.
Sponsored by the Thai-US Pacific Command, the exercise demonstrates the ability to plan and conduct combined-joint operations, as well as enhance interoperability among forces and capabilities to solve regional challenges jointly.
Participating countries in Cobra Gold 2013 will include Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the Republic of Korea, alongside representatives from more than 20 countries, including Burma.
During the ten-day training exercise, around 13,000 multinational participants will conduct computer-simulated scenarios, combined arms live-fire events, field training operations, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects.
US Pacific Command commander navy admiral Samuel J Locklear III said that the exercise has been designed to 'replicate the dynamic environment we find ourselves in today and [expect] in the future'.
"It is critical to building our multinational coordination, our interoperability with all of our partners in the region and to allow us to collectively respond to crises and protect the peace and prosperity of all our people," Locklear added.
In addition, participating personnel will demonstrate amphibious assault such as attack jets, helicopters, landing craft and small boats, small-boat and helicopter raids, a multilateral non-combatant evacuation operation, as well as jungle warfare and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training.
The exercise also enables participating nations to build military-to-military relationships and strengthen the long-standing ties with other participating nations.
Cobra Gold 2013, the 32nd exercise of its series, is scheduled to run through to 21 February.
Image: Exercise Cobra Gold 2013 opening ceremony with participating nation's officials. Photo: courtesy of Singapore Government.