US deploys over 4,000 for Cobra Gold 2024 military drills in Thailand
US deploys over 4,000 for Cobra Gold 2024 military drills in ThailandLegacy

A deployment of over 4,000 personnel aboard the USS Somerset and USS Miguel Keith is on the horizon for the upcoming Cobra Gold 2024, a joint military exercise taking place in Thailand from February 26 to March 8.

The American soldiers form a significant part of the 9,590-strong contingent from 30 nations participating in these annual drills. The announcement came from General Thitichai Tiantong, Chief of Joint Staff of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, during an event briefing.

The USS Somerset, a San Antonio-class transport dock, and the USS Miguel Keith, a Lewis B Puller-class mobile base, exemplify the US Navy’s advanced capabilities. The focus for the United States this year is primarily on amphibious drills, as disclosed by Colonel Kurtis A Leffler, Chief of the Joint US Military Advisory Group Thailand.

An intriguing aspect of Cobra Gold this year involves the Thai and US navies cooperating to salvage the wreckage of HTMS Sukhothai. The US embassy shared that the ship sank 35 kilometres off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan on December 18, 2022, due to a storm, reported Bangkok Post.

The exercise’s core parts will see the active participation of seven nations, namely Thailand, the US, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, China and India will restrict their involvement in humanitarian civic assistance training. Australia, on the other hand, will only participate in the command-post exercise.

An additional ten countries, grouped as the multinational planning augmentation team, will rotate their attendance during the exercise. This team includes Bangladesh, Canada, France, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Fiji, Britain, and Brunei.

The final group, dubbed the combined observer liaison team, consists of ten other countries. These include Cambodia, Laos, Brazil, Pakistan, Vietnam, Germany, Sweden, Greece, Kuwait, and Sri Lanka. They will contribute to different aspects of the exercise.

In related news, US Army Major Andrew Cotter, participating in Cobra Gold military exercise in Thailand, was found dead in a Lop Buri army camp.

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Author: Mitch Connor