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Nations participate in command post exercise

US Marine Corps News

2/17/2012 By Lance Cpl. Ronald K. Peacock, Marine Corps Bases Japan

CAMP SURANAREE, KORAT, Thailand — Participants from 17 countries across the globe have teamed up at Camp Suranaree, Korat, Kingdom of Thailand, since Feb. 10 to protect the people of two simulated countries, “Kuhistan” and “Free Mojave,” from the aggressive “Arcadian Forces” during Exercise Cobra Gold 2012.

During the computer-simulated command post exercise, dubbed Operation Righteous Cause, the Royal Thai Armed Forces have led service members from the U.S., Malaysia, Indonesian, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Japan and other nations in an effort to overcome complex challenges with a distinctly multinational approach.

Arcadian Forces have been moving into Kuhistan and Free Mojave, but Multinational Force Cobra Gold 12 will not be overcome.

While combat operations spread throughout the region, communication between participating nations becomes key to restoring peace in “Pacifica.”

The annual CPX provides an opportunity for participating nations to hone their communication skills and learn from each others’ unique experiences and expertise, better preparing partner nations for a unified approach to future contingencies.

“The exercise provides us with the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with each other and to better prepare for a potential emergency in the future,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Anthony K. Sutton, a watch officer for the CPX. “Everyone seems to have a mutual appreciation for what other nations bring to the fight.”

Every nation has brought important capabilities to the combined effort.

“It is about synchronizing the nations involved because it is imperative we are able to work together,” said Royal Thai Army 1st Lt. Surasak Maneesri, who assists in battle operations during the CPX. “It has been one of the best experiences for me, and I am trying to learn as much as I can from multinational partners.”

Nations participating in the CPX work through language barriers and unfamiliar procedures to strengthen bonds between each other and become more operationally ready for a real-life event.

“The key to a multinational operation is (working together),” said Malaysia Armed Forces Lt. Col. Jamaluddin Alias, deputy director of planning for C-5 during the CPX. “Understanding everyones’ strengths and weaknesses has made it a great first exercise for me.”

CG 12 has provided an important opportunity for participants to strengthen relationships.

“In today’s globalization era, we can’t face the enemy alone,” said Indonesia Navy Cmdr. Didong Purwokuntjoro, a public affairs officer for the CPX. “Many challenges to come must be dealt with hand-in-hand. I am very thankful for the opportunity to participate in Cobra Gold 2012.”

R.O.K. Marine 2nd Lt. Hyunseok Seo, translator for the CPX, agreed. “It has been a great pleasure being here for my first Cobra Gold, and I have really enjoyed working with other nation’s Marines,” he said. “With international threats and disasters, this exercise gives us the opportunity to see how well we all work together.”

Nations fully participating in CG 12 include the Kingdom of Thailand, the United States, Singapore, Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia. Several other countries have been invited to participate in the multinational planning augmentation team, including Australia, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Italy, India, Nepal, Republic of the Philippines and Vietnam.

Cobra Gold in its 31st iteration, is designed to advance regional security by exercising a robust multinational force from nations sharing common goals and security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.

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