By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THAI AND UNITED STATES TROOPS taking part in Cobra Gold 2022 joint military exercise will be numerically downsized in response to the sustained pandemic situation, an army general said today (Feb. 4).
Thai Armed Forces chief-of-staff Lt.Gen. Chidchanok Nudchaya confirmed the total of troops from Thailand, the US and several other countries taking part in Cobra Gold 2022’s Field Training Exercise (FTX) will be reduced to 3,460, compared to 8,900-plus troops engaged in last year’s similar war game.
The 3,460 troops who will take part in the FTX from February 20 until March 5 include 1,953 Thai troops, 1,296 US troops, 50 Singaporean troops, 41 South Korean troops, 36 Malaysian troops, 35 Japanese troops and 16 Indonesian troops, according to Lt.Gen. Chidchanok, who is concurrently acting as co-director of Cobra Gold 2022.
Under the anti-pandemic measures, all foreign soldiers will undergo a seven-day alternative state quarantine ahead of the annual joint military exercise.
The FTX will take place in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Lopburi, Rayong and Chonburi as well as the upper part of the Gulf of Thailand. The total of Thai and US soldiers include 350 troops who will be engaged in a combat training programme at the Infantry Center’s Fort Thanarat in Pranburi district of the western coastal province.
However, this year’s joint military exercise will not feature an amphibious landing exercise, a civilian evacuation exercise or live ammunition fires, he said.
Cobra Gold 2022, viewed as a Heavy Year in apparent response to China’s naval force buildup in the South China Sea, will feature the Thai and US troops as major participants accompanied by a relatively small number of troops from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Cobra Gold got started in 1982 and is yet known as the largest international military exercise in Southeast Asia.
Top: Helicopters flying during the Cobra Gold war game. Photo: US Embassy
First below: US Army Pfc. Drake Helton, an indirect fire infantryman assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, conducts mortar proficiency training with the Royal Thai Army as part of Exercise Cobra Gold 21, Aug. 5, 2021, in Chon Buri. Photo: 1st Lt. Sam Eckholm
Second below: A Royal Thai Army instructor demonstrates survival skills to US soldiers during Cobra Gold 2020 at Ban Dan Lan Hoi, Sukhothai. Photo: Royal Thai Armed Forces and published by Ipdefenseforum.com
Home Page: A group picture of troops participating in the Cobra Gold war game. Photo: Thai News Agency