Naval Warfare

Amphibious Exercise Cobra Gold 2024 Showcases Regional Naval Collaboration

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Amphibious Exercise Cobra Gold 2024 Showcases Regional Naval Collaboration

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Amphibious Exercise Cobra Gold 2024 Showcases Regional Naval Collaboration
Amphibious Exercise Cobra Gold 2024 Showcases Regional Naval Collaboration

In a display of international cooperation and military prowess, Admiral Adung Phan-iam, commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy, Rear Admiral Christopher D. Stone, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group Seven, Task Force 76, Amphibious Force of the United States Navy, and Rear Admiral Cho Choong-Ho, commander of Mine/Amphibious Flotilla Five of the Republic of Korea, converged at the AMPHIBEX-JFEO (Amphibious Exercise-Joint Forcible Entry Operation) on March 1, 2024. This joint operation is a crucial component of the renowned international combined exercise, Cobra Gold 2024, held at the Naval Training Range No. 15, Hat Yao, Sattahip District, Chonburi Province. The backbone of this robust force is comprised of the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC), deploying cutting-edge assets such as the AAV7A1 RAM/RS amphibious vehicle, modernized by the Thai company Chaiseri, and the resilient Ukrainian BTR-3E1 8×8 wheeled armored vehicle.

Amphibious Exercise-Joint Forcible Entry Operation (AMPHIBEX-JFEO)
Amphibious Exercise-Joint Forcible Entry Operation (AMPHIBEX-JFEO)

Adding an aerial dimension to the exercise, the Royal Thai Naval Air Division (RTNAD) showcased their capabilities with the 1st type targeting surveillance aircraft, 1st Battalion Cessna T-337 Skymaster, Squadron 103, Wing 1, and the 1st type anti-submarine helicopter Sikorsky SH-60B Seahawk, Squadron 2, Royal Naval Aviation Unit Chakri Naruebet. The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) further demonstrated its strength with the deployment of large amphibious landing craft, including the HTMS Sichang series, HTMS Surin royal ship, and the troop transport ship HTMS Mannok series. The latter worked in tandem with the San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks, the LPD-25 floating dock landing craft USS Somerset, and the LCAC air cushion vehicle of the United States Navy (USN).

Amphibious Exercise-Joint Forcible Entry Operation (AMPHIBEX-JFEO)
Amphibious Exercise-Joint Forcible Entry Operation (AMPHIBEX-JFEO)

Joining the international fleet, the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) showcased its Large Cheon Wang Bong-class amphibious landing craft LST-689 ROKS No Jeok Bong, complemented by KAAV amphibious vehicles and K55A1 belt-propelled self-propelled artillery from the Republic of Korea Marine Corps (ROKMC). The United States Marine Corps (USMC) brought in LAV-25 amphibious wheeled armored vehicles and Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy transport helicopters, along with a Marine medium-sized fixed-wing aircraft squadron VMM-165 (Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 165). Notably, the CH-53E heavy transport helicopter, VMM-165 Squadron, took center stage, replacing the Bell-Boeing MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft following a global grounding order after a CV-22B accident involving the United States Air Force (USAF) in Japan on November 28, 2023.

Amphibious Exercise-Joint Forcible Entry Operation (AMPHIBEX-JFEO)
Amphibious Exercise-Joint Forcible Entry Operation (AMPHIBEX-JFEO)

In a first-time display, Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters from the 229th Aviation Regiment, 16th CAB (Combat Aviation Brigade of the US Army), provided air support during Cobra Gold 2024, alongside the Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters of the US Marine Corps. The exercise also incorporated simulated air support from fighter aircraft, including the F-16A/B Squadron 103, Wing 1, Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), and Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 40, 35th Fighter Squadron, and 80th Fighter Squadron, 8th Fighter Wing, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), United States Air Force. In summary, Cobra Gold 2024’s amphibious operations training not only highlighted the seamless coordination among international naval forces but also showcased the diverse and advanced capabilities each participating nation brings to the table, reinforcing the importance of collaborative defense efforts in the face of evolving global challenges.

Amphibious Exercise-Joint Forcible Entry Operation (AMPHIBEX-JFEO)
Amphibious Exercise-Joint Forcible Entry Operation (AMPHIBEX-JFEO)

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