Thailand, US launch Cobra Gold military exercise hinh anh 1At the launching ceremony (Source: AP)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand and the US jointly hosted the opening ceremony on February 12 for the annual Cobra Gold military exercise, the largest event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region with 29 nations taking part as participants and observers.

Along with Thailand and the US, seven other countries – Singapore, Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Republic of Korea – were also active participants.

Acting head of the US diplomatic mission in Thailand Peter Haymond said at the ceremony, held in the northern Thai province of Phitsanulok, that the aim of the exercise is to strengthen cooperation and inter-operability.

There are three major components of the exercise, which ends February 22, namely military field training, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief training.

After the military coup in May 2014, the US has reduced its military presence and support to Thailand, including the assistance to the Cobra Gold military exercise.

First held in 1982, the exercise is the biggest of its kind in Asia, which is rooted from the bilateral military exercise between the US and Thailand, its oldest ally in the region. –VNA