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Thailand and the US on Tuesday hosted the opening ceremony for the annual Cobra Gold army train, the largest exercise of its sort within the Asia-Pacific area with 29 nations participating as contributors or observers.

Seven nations along with Thailand and the US are energetic contributors: Singapore, Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea. About 4,500 U.S. personnel, on land and sea, are participating.

The appearing head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Thailand, Peter Haymond, mentioned on the ceremony within the northern Thai province of Phitsanulok that the intention of the train, first held in 1982, is to strengthen cooperation and inter-operability.

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There are three main parts of the train, which ends Feb. 22: army subject coaching, humanitarian help and catastrophe reduction coaching. Its objectives embrace “enhancing maritime safety, stopping and mitigating rising illness threats, and responding to large-scale pure disasters,” a U.S. assertion mentioned.

The ceremony was attended by Thai Chief of Protection Forces Gen. Pornpipat Benyasri and the commander of the U.S. Military First Corps, Lt. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, representing the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

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“Now we have witnessed that this Thai-American initiative has grow to be a big milestone of army collaboration that has expanded to the regional stage,” a press release issued by the train quoted Pornpipat as saying.

“I imagine that not solely has Cobra Gold served as a platform for understanding and dealing collectively within the area, however has now grow to be helpful for our different strategic companions,” he mentioned.

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