Cobra Gold

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 12, 2023, 6:40

Cobra Gold are military exercise hosted by Thailand every year for the armed forces of Asia-Pacific countries. It is the largest known event in this category, and every year, it takes place between 29 nations, including Thailand and USA. The 42nd Cobra Gold was held between February 27 and March 10, 2023.

Every year, Thailand hosts the Cobra Gold Exercise, a military exercise regime in the Asia-pacific region. 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.

Cobra Gold 2023

The 42nd version of Cobra Gold was held between February 28 and March 10, 2023. The event was held in the provinces of Lopburi, Chanthaburi, Sa Kaeo, and Rayong in the Kingdom of Thailand. The aim of the Cobra Gold exercise is to promote better relations between countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Cobra Gold exercise saw the participation of 7,394 troops from 30 countries. This year’s event saw the biggest participation from the U.S. Military. The presence of 6,000 troops was seen at this year’s Cobra Gold.

Cobra Gold




7 countries


Bangkok, Thailand


Military exercise


To engage the military of Asia-Pacific countries in exercises and activities that prepare them for appropriate crisis response and coordination

Highlights from Cobra Gold 2023

  • This year, Cobra Gold exercises involved field training exercises and command post exercises.
  • Training was also provided for humanitarian assistance, cyber warfare and disaster response.
  • For the first time in Cobra Gold's history, training for space operations was also provided to the participants.
  • This year, Australia, along with India and China, took part as observers in training for humanitarian assistance.

Cobra Gold History

In 1982, Thailand initiated Cobra Gold for the first time to improve relations between itself and the United States. The aim of this was to end the hostility between the mentioned countries and establish better relations. Now, Cobra Gold includes 27 nations from the Asia-Pacific region. Here are some of the key moments from the history of this annual military exercise.

  • 1982: Cobra Gold was established as a humanitarian effort between Asia-Pacific nations.
  • 2015: China was allowed to participate in the activities but its role was only limited to training in humanitarian assistance.
  • 2020: Cobra Gold initiated an operation for landmine reduction.
  • 2021: It expanded to 27 nations.

Cobra Gold Exercise Countries

Every year, Cobra Gold invites 27 nations from the Asia-Pacific region to participate in or observe the one-of-its-kind exercise. Here, we have shared a list of all the participating, observing and other countries that join the Cobra Gold exercise.

  • Observers: Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, Germany, Israel, Brazil, Sweden, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • Participants: Indonesia, Japan, United States, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore.
  • Multinational Planning Augmentation Team: France, the United Kingdom, Fiji, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Nepal and the Philippines.
  • Others: India and China.

Cobra Exercise: Facts

The Cobra Gold military exercise regime is quite rigorous and is hosted every year to establish better relations between Asia-Pacific countries. Here are some interesting facts about this annual exercise.

  • No other multinational military exercise event takes place at this scale.
  • Cobra Gold 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 take part in the event, along with Thailand and USA.
  • The purpose of the Cobra Gold exercise 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 Cobra Gold event.

Cobra Gold: Absence Of Myanmar

In 2021, the absence of Myanmar in Cobra Gold was notable. Thailand gave no clear explanation for the same. 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.
  • In 2021, the event did not see the attendance of the Tatmadaw military from the nation.
  • 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, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom.

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FAQs on Cobra Gold

Q1. What is Cobra Gold?

Cobra Gold is an annual event hosted in Thailand to promote intra-regional peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. Originally started in 1982 to establish better relations between Thailand and the United States, Cobra Gold now includes the participation of 27 countries.

Q2. Where is the Cobra Gold held?

Cobra Gold is held in Thailand every year. This year, the 42nd Cobra Gold was held in the provinces of Lopburi, Chanthaburi, Sa Kaeo, and Rayong in the Kingdom of Thailand. This event is held to improve the relationship between Asia-Pacific countries.

Q3. Which countries participate in the Cobra Gold?

There are many participating nations in Cobra Gold. The event sees representation from 27 nations, some of which are participants, while others are observers. The participating countries in Cobra Gold are Indonesia, Japan, the United States, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore.

Q4. Is India a part of Cobra Gold?

Yes, India takes part in Cobra Gold as an observer nation. India, along with other countries like Australia and China receives training in humanitarian assistance. Other observer nations in Cobra Gold include Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, Germany, Israel, Brazil, Sweden, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Q5. Which exercises are included in Cobra Gold?

The major exercises included in the Cobra Gold event this year included the following

  • Command Post Exercise
  • Civic Assistance
  • Humanitarian Assistance
  • Field Training Exercise

Q6. What is the significance of Cobra Gold?

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.

Q7. Which are the observer nations 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.