The U.S. military describes Cobra Gold as “one of the largest theater security cooperation exercises in the Indo-Pacific.” It’s also a great chance for soldiers from Thailand and other regional allies to hang out, drink blood and blow stuff up with the world’s most powerful fighting force.
The United States backed off from fully committing in the wake of the 2014 coup, but in the face of rising Chinese influence, quickly resumed business as usual.
Here are some images and video clips from our reporters and the U.S. Army and Marines of the past week’s exercises, which included combined arms, live-fire exercises and simulated amphibious assaults as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Royal Thai and U.S marines conduct jungle survival training on Feb. 14 in Chantaburi province. The ritual of drinking cobra blood is explained as an “alternative way to stay hydrated. Source: Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Bragg / U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. marines and Thai military conducted combined arms live fire training during exercise Thursday in Sukhothai province. Source: U.S. Marine Corps
Soldiers with Alpha Battery, 1st Brigade, 37th Field Artillery train together with their Royal Thai Army counterparts, sharing field artillery strategy and tactics. Source: U.S. Marine Corps
Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment with the 31st US Marine Expeditionary Unit conducts a combined arms live-fire exercise on Feb. Wednesday in Chanthaburi province. Source: Sgt. Nicolas Cholula / U.S. Army
The US Air Force 8th Fighter Wing and Royal Thai Air Force, Wing 1, fly together to improve overall readiness and interoperability. Source: U.S. Army
Above: Soldiers with Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, trained alongside their Thai counterparts Feb. 20 in Phitsanulok province. Source: U.S. Army
Above: U.S. Marines of the 4th Marine Regiment prepare for combined arms live-fire training Tuesday in Chanthaburi province. Source: Sgt. Nicolas Cholula / U.S. Army
Above: Japan Ground Self Defense Force members participate in the non-combat evacuation so partner nations can work together during humanitarian assistance and disaster response and security-type scenarios. Source: U.S. Army
Above: Weapons Company Marines participate in a live fire event with the Royal Thai Marine Corps on Feb. 13 in Chanthaburi province. Source: Lance Cpl. Tanner D. Lambert / U.S. Marine Corps
Above: Marines from Thailand, South Korea and the United States conduct an amphibious assault exercise on Feb. 16 at hat Yao Beach, Sattahip, in Chonburi province. Source: Sgt. Nicolas Cholula & Sgt. Timothy Valero / U.S. Army
Above: Marines from Thailand, South Korea and the United States conduct an amphibious assault exercise on Feb. 16 at Hat Yao Beach, Sattahip, in Chonburi province. Source: Sgt. Timothy Valero / U.S. Marine Corps