BANGKOK, Jan. 28 — The annual multi-national military exercise codenamed Cobra Gold will be held in Thailand’s eastern region next month, said a Thai navy officer to the news media on Sunday the 28th.
Thailand, the United States and several other Asian countries will have their military personnel join in the annual military exercise on Feb. 13-23 in eastern Thai provinces including Sattahip naval base in Chonburi, U-tapao naval air base in Rayong, Chachoengsao and Chanthaburi, said the navy officer on condition of anonymity.
Military personnel from dozens of countries will either participate in or observe Cobra Gold 2018 which will primarily feature the command post exercise, the field training exercise and the humanitarian aid and disaster relief, he said.
Cobra Gold, first held in 1982, is considered the biggest military exercise in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Pattaya News spoke to a U.S. Military official who stated on condition of anonymity that soldiers will have liberty, however it will be under strict restrictions and focused on visiting local humanitarian efforts, temples and some recreational activities such as local restaurants and the water parks and will be limited to only a small number of days as the soldiers will be primarily busy with the command exercises. They will also be under a strict curfew during the exercises.
The military earlier stated to the news media that seven countries in total would participate in full military training exercises. They are the US, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia.
Additionally, Ten countries will join the drill as observers — Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Germany, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Sweden.
Thailand will provide 5,600 personnel while 5,800 will come from the US, 200 from South Korea, 146 from Japan, 68 from Indonesia, 50 from Singapore, and 44 each from China and India.