Royal Thai Armed Forces and U.S. Embassy-Bangkok held the Cobra Gold 2020 press conference Feb. 14 at the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters briefing room, Bangkok. The 2020 Thai-US Cobra Gold military exercise will take place with necessary steps taken to safeguard the health of the soldiers. Speaking at a joint press conference about the 39th instalment of the Cobra Gold exercises, Gen Chalermpol said precautionary measures will be introduced for the multinational military drill due to concerns about transmission of the coronavirus.
The Cobra Gold 2020 is scheduled to take place from Feb 25 to March 6 in Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Rayong and Chon Buri provinces. The US Armed Forces is sending 5,500 personnel, 64 fighter jets including F-35 aircraft, and two naval ships — the USS America and USS Green Bay. The 2020 edition is set to be a “heavy year”, meaning it will involve more field action rather than just strategic planning and will also include “full-scale” cyber warfare training.
Besides Thailand and the US, the main training exercise is joined by five other nations Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Malaysia. India and China will be additional participants in the Multinational Planning Augmentation Team (MPAT) which originally involved Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, the UK, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines and Fiji. Laos, Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, Cambodia, Israel, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland will take part in the Combined Observer Liaison Team.
CG20 is the 39th annual exercise in the series, which is the largest joint multinational military exercise in the Indo-Pacific region and is an integral part of the U.S. Commitment to strengthen engagement in the region for a free and open Indo-Pacific. It will be held from Feb. 24 – March 6 at various locations throughout the Kingdom of Thailand. Launched in 1982, Cobra Gold is the largest international military exercise held in the Asia-Pacific region.