LAEM CHABANG, Thailand (WFRV) – Crews aboard the dock landing ship USS Green Bay, along with amphibious assault ship USS America were welcomed to Thailand by members of the Royal Thai Armed Forces as part of Exercise Cobra Gold, according to the Navy Office of Community Outreach.
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Vincent E. Zline says the ships, part of the America Expeditionary Strike Group arrived with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit for port visits to Thailand on Feb. 22.
Cobra Gold is a Thailand and United States co-sponsored Combined Joint Task Force and joint theater security cooperation exercise annually conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand.
The exercise will be held from Feb. 25 to Mar. 6.
“Working with our Thai partners during Exercise Cobra Gold is a superb opportunity for us to hone our amphibious and expeditionary combat skills,” said Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “In this 39th iteration of this exercise, we are truly demonstrating what the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Team and the power of partnership offer this extraordinarily vital part of the world.”
USS Green Bay arrived in Chuck Samet and USS America arrived to Laem Chabang.
Members of the Royal Thai Armed Forces welcomed commanding officers of both ships with Phuang Malai, or Thai flower garlands.
While in Thailand, Sailors and Marines will interact with their Royal Thai Armed Forces counterparts and engage in planning and interoperability events such as ship tours, capability briefs, and exercises.
“This year’s exercise will consist of three primary events: a command post exercise, humanitarian civic assistance projects, and a field training exercise that includes a variety of training events to enhance interoperability and strengthen regional relationships. There will be up to 29 nations either directly participating in or observing CG 20, with approximately 4,200 U.S. personnel directly participating both ashore and afloat,” says Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Vincent E. Zline.
Cobra Gold is designed to improve participating nations’ capability to plan and conduct combined and joint operations, build relationships, and improve interoperability.
The Navy Office of Community Outreach says the Sailors and Marines will also have the opportunity to participate in service events including a sports day, community relations events, and morale welfare and recreation tours that will allow them to experience the culture and build camaraderie with their counterparts in the Thai armed forces.