Scene at last year's Cobra Gold millitary exercises in Thailand (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – The US and Thailand launched the annual Cobra Gold military exercises at the Sattahip Royal Thai Marine Corps Base in Chonburi province, on February 14.

Cobra Gold, originally a bilateral drill between the US and Thailand, is now one of the world’s largest multinational exercises, involving up to 30 countries. This year, it is participated by 29 countries.

The exercises consist of three major events: a staff exercise that includes a senior leader seminar; a field training exercise that includes various training events to enhance regional ties and coordination; and humanitarian projects in Thai communities.

The US has deployed 3,600 personnel from its army, navy and air forces to directly take part in the drill, roughly the number of troops sent last year.

US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry B Harris Jr is in Thailand for the 10-day event.-VNA