The start of the 10-day maneuver was given to the Utapas military base in Rayong Province, 200 km from the capital Bangkok. "With this, we demonstrate our commitment to cooperation in the Asian region without which it would be impossible to cope with modern challenges," said US Ambassador to Thailand Glen Davis at the opening ceremony.
The core of the participants in the exercises is the military from Thailand (over 4,000) and the United States (6.8 thousand). At the same time, the US military contingent is almost twice as large compared to last year. This year, US participation in Cobra Gold is the largest since 2014, when relations between Bangkok and Washington cooled after the military coup in Thailand.
Cobra Gold is held annually in Thailand since 1982 and is one of the main symbols of military cooperation between Washington and Bangkok. According to the Thai Defense Ministry, the main focus of the exercises will be to strengthen regional cooperation and improve the interaction between the armed forces of the countries involved in complex, multilateral operations. Participants will also develop joint actions to provide humanitarian aid and eradicate the consequences of natural disasters.
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