Thailand hosts hundreds of US troops for annual ‘Cobra Gold’ drills By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Admiral John C. Aquilino speaks throughout a information convention in Bangkok, Thailand, December 13, 2019. REUTERS/Panu Wongcha-um

By Kwang JirapornKuhakan

RAYONG, Thailand (Reuters) – Thailand and the US kicked off on Tuesday army workout routines involving greater than 7,000 personnel and forces from 30 international locations, with the annual drills together with a part targeted on area workout routines for the primary time.

“Cobra Gold”, launched in 1982, is among the world’s longest-running multilateral army workout routines and the most important in Southeast Asia, serving as a key platform for Washington to shore up alliances in Asia at a time of accelerating competitors with China.

After the drills have been scaled again through the pandemic, practically 6,000 U.S. troops will participate this 12 months, Admiral John Aquilino, Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, mentioned, the best quantity in a decade.

Chatting with reporters, Aquilino mentioned: “we’ll conduct built-in ops throughout the land, sea, air and our on-line world with our companions.”

The workout routines, which can run till March 10, reveal how responding collectively would assist “to protect a free and open Indo Pacific, so that every one nations can preserve peace, stability and prosperity,” he mentioned.

Tensions have elevated within the area between the US and China over Beijing’s rising assertiveness within the South China Sea and over self-ruled Taiwan.

This 12 months, the drills will embrace an area train for the primary time, with a concentrate on understanding the influence of aerial phenomena reminiscent of photo voltaic storms on army operations, communication and satellites, a U.S. embassy assertion mentioned.

Army and civilian area businesses from Thailand, the US and Japan will participate, it mentioned.

Cobra Gold includes 7,394 personnel in complete this 12 months from 30 international locations, with the seven full individuals additionally together with Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia.

China, India and Australia are collaborating within the humanitarian workout routines.

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