South Korea does not take part in the main landing exercise, and therefore sends a small number of servicemen to the drills during odd years. According to the official, however, during even years, the country sends hundreds of troops to Thailand.
The multinational drills, led by the US Pacific Command and the Royal Thai Armed Forces, kicked off on Tuesday. According to the Marine Corps official, around 7,500 troops from nine countries, including Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, are participating in the maneuvers, and a further 10 are present as observers, for the 10-day exercise. The exercise reportedly involved combined forces conducting a mock landing and a field training exercise.
Cobra Gold, the largest Asia-Pacific military exercise held annually, was launched in 1981. It seeks to improve coordination between the armed forces in military and humanitarian efforts.