Cobra Gold

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 2, 2022, 5:11

Every year, Thailand hosts the Cobra Gold Exercise, a military exercise regime in the Asia-pacific region. It is the largest known event in this category, and every year, it takes place between 29 nations, including Thailand and USA. Due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions, the event is scaled down for the second consecutive year. It was held from 20th February to 5th March this year.

Key Facts About Cobra Gold

From an academic perspective, you should know the following facts about the military exercise regime -

  • No other multinational military exercise event takes place at this scale. It is the largest event sponsored jointly by Thailand and USA through a combined task force and a joint security exercise.
  • The Cobra Gold event has been in existence since 1982.
  • Only allied partner nations took part in the event, along with Thailand and USA.
  • The purpose of this event is to help in improving coordination between the armed forces of the USA and Thailand in carrying out any military takeovers and carrying out humanitarian efforts.
  • Cobra Gold acts as a bond that strengthens the relations between the participating countries.
  • It is known that Cobra Gold has been instrumental in bringing health care support to the people in Thailand.
  • Cobra Gold has also helped in testing technologies that are used on battlefields.
  • The Chinese were accepted into the partnership in 2015, but they have only taken part in assistance training for humanitarian efforts.
  • At present, India holds the status of an observer at the event.

Current Scenario Of Cobra Gold

The 41st version of the event was held between February and March 2022. It was termed a light year due to the event's scaled-down exercises due to the ongoing pandemic.

In 2022, the event saw the participation of 3460 troops hailing from 20 different countries. The number includes 1953 soldiers from Thailand, 1296 from the US, 50 from Singapore, 41 from South Korea, 36 from Malaysia, 35 from Japan, and 16 from Indonesia. They were further joined by several relief drills, including 18 soldiers from Australia, 10 from China and 5 from India.

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Cobra Gold - Absence Of Myanmar

Any observers to the event had been left out of participation this year, but the absence of Myanmar was notable. Thailand gave no clear explanation. When it comes to Cobra Gold, any coups and actions of military violence are taken very seriously. Originally, Myanmar was admitted to the event as an observer in 2018. This year, the event did not see the attendance of the Tatmadaw military from the nation.

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The Cobra Gold event also saw the multinational planning augmentation team members' participation, including military-grade officers from Canada, Bangladesh, Nepal, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Mongolia, Vietnam, Philippines, and the United Kingdom. It has been continuing for well over 40 years now.

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FAQs on Cobra Gold

Q1. Which type of war games was included in Cobra Gold this year?

Four major exercises were included in the Cobra Gold event this year, including:

  • Command Post Exercise in the Rayong naval base
  • Humanitarian/Civic Assistance involving the construction of schools in Krabi, Saraburi, Chanthaburi, Trat and Rayong
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Tabletop Exercise at a Rayong hotel
  • small-scale Field Training Exercise for experts in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Lopburi, Rayong and Chonburi

Q2. Which type of exercises usually occur at Cobra Gold but were downgraded this year?

Heavy Cobra Gold Exercises such as live-fire drills, cruel actions, killing snakes and drinking their warm blood, etc., did not occur at the Cobra Gold event this year.

Q3. Has Cobra Gold proved to be beneficial in any way?

Cobra Gold event has certainly improved the military response to several natural disasters, including the Tsunami of 2004 and 2011 and the response to disaster relief in the Philippines after a Typhoon struck the nation in 2013.

Q4. Name some observers who are allied to Cobra Gold.

Observers at Cobra Gold include Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Israel, Vietnam, Germany, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Sweden. Apart from them, allied partners include participants, a multinational planning augmentation team and others.