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

Seven nations along with Thailand and america are lively members: 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 goal of the train, first held in 1982, is to strengthen cooperation and inter-operability.

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There are three main elements of the train, which ends Feb. 22: navy discipline coaching, humanitarian help and catastrophe aid coaching. Its targets embody “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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“We have now witnessed that this Thai-American initiative has change into a big milestone of navy collaboration that has expanded to the regional degree,” 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 change into helpful for our different strategic companions,” he mentioned.

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