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NEWS | March 7, 2023

Cobra Gold 2023 Airborne Drop

By Spc. John Stauffer

Paratroopers from Bravo Company 1-325, 82nd Airborne Division and the Royal Thai Army conducted a sustained airborne operation as part of a simultaneous assault on March 3, 2023, near Thanarat Drop Zone, Kingdom of Thailand, for exercise Cobra Gold.

Cobra Gold allows the U.S. and the Kingdom of Thailand to train side-by-side with and enhances our longstanding relationship with the Kingdom of Thailand. Cobra Gold, now in its 42nd year, is a Thai-U.S. co-sponsored training event that builds on the long-standing friendship between the two allied nations and brings together a robust multinational force to promote regional peace and security in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“Personally I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s a chance to work with our partner forces,” said Sgt. Walter Gates of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Hundreds of distinguished visitors, including Lieutenant General Xavier Brunson the commanding general of I Corps U.S. Army, watched as over 500 paratroopers, jumped into the rice fields and dense tropical forests of Baturaja.

“Your technology your effort in this is new for me. I think it’s fantastic,” said Cadet Kaisin of the Royal Thai Army.

Simultaneously with the sustained airborne operation, the joint force executed an air assault and ground mission, navigating through various obstacles and foliage to reach their objectives and accomplish the mission.

Following the parachute portion of the operation, representatives from the two Armies participated in a wing exchange ceremony. Soldiers participated by pinning their fellow partners with the jump wings from their respective branch.

“It’s a privilege and an honor [to be here],” said Private 1st Class Buinickas of the 82nd Airborne Division. “They’re good in my book and I’d go to war for and with them.”

“I’m happy that you joined with us,” said Cadet Jetaktakori of the Royal Thai Army.

A strong, forward-looking U.S.-Thai defense alliance, rooted in history, helps foster a free and open Indo-Pacific region where all countries enjoy prosperity and peace. The United States-Thailand relationship covers a wide range of political, security and economic cooperation. The United States remains committed to maintaining our enduring friendship with Thailand and the Thai people.