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The US Marine Corps sent a massive amount of Marines to Thailand for the annual Cobra Gold military drill, an exercise that has been held in Thailand almost every year since 1982.
The exercise was originally intended to strengthen relations between the US and its oldest ally in South East Asia, but has since turned into a drill for multiple nations in the region. This year, 11,075 personnel from 29 countries will participate.
The US nearly doubled its own contribution to the exercise this year, with 6,800 personnel participating. The increase is likely due to the threat of a more powerful China.
“This exercise is the largest multilateral exercise in the Indo-Pacific region. It speaks to the commitment of the US in the region,” Steve Castonguay, a spokesman for the US Embassy in Bangkok, said.
Take a look at the awesome photos from the exercise here:
Amphibious assault drills are the main focus of Cobra Gold, like this beach assault in 2017.
They were also included in the drills this year. As amphibious assault vehicles approach beaches, they fire smoke screens to make it more difficult to target them.
Here’s a view of the assault from behind.
US Marine Corps
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