RAYONG, Thailand, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Thailand and the USA kicked off on Tuesday military exercises involving more than 7,000 soldiers and military forces from 30 countries, with the annual drills including a component focused on space exercises for the first time.

Cobra Gold, launched in 1982, is one of the world’s longest-running multilateral military exercises and the biggest in Southeast Asia, serving as a key platform for Washington DC to shore up alliances in Asia at a time of increasing competition with China.


After the drills were scaled back during the pandemic, nearly 6,000 U.S. troops will take part this year, Admiral John Aquilino, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, said, the highest number in a decade.

The conduct needs integrated ops across the land, sea, air and cyberspace with the military associates from around the world in Asia.


The exercises, which will run until March 10, 2023 to demonstrate how responding together would help to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific, so that all nations can maintain peace, stability and prosperity.

Tensions have increased in the region between the United States and China over Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea and over self-ruled Taiwan.


This year, the drills will include a space exercise for the first time, with a focus on understanding the impact of aerial phenomena such as solar storms on military operations, communication and satellites, a U.S. embassy statement said.

Military and civilian space agencies from Thailand, the USA and Japan will take part.


Cobra Gold involves 7,394 personnel in total this year from 30 countries, with the seven full participants also including Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia.

China, India and Australia are taking part in the humanitarian exercises.

Reuters / ABC Flash-Point News 2023.

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03-03-23 11:26

In the meanwhile Russian and Chinese naval forces are training around Cape Horn, blocking shipping from Europe to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. Only the Suez Canal available for navigation into the Asian zone?