U.S. and Thailand successfully complete collaborative counter WMD training exercise

Service members from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Thai Navy collaborated on counter weapons of mass destruction training on Sunday during Exercise Cobra Gold 2014.

Cobra Gold is an annual exercise conducted in the Kingdom of Thailand that seeks to improve mission readiness and multinational cooperation in fighting regional threats. This year's exercise included training on fighting CBRN threats, explosive ordnance disposal and first response tactics through U.S. and Kingdom of Thailand collaboration.

"This is one of eight missionaries for the National Military Strategy to counter weapons of mass destruction," Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jonathan Davis, a CBRN officer with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st MAW, III MEF, said. "We exchange tactics, techniques and procedures and we see how each other operate when it comes to chemical reconnaissance and decontamination."

The exercise utilized a simulation scenario of a natural disaster and focused on the successful development of a multilateral approach to providing humanitarian aid. The scenario also incorporated simulated terrorist attacks and CBRN incidents to strengthen the ability of the servicemen to appropriately respond to multiple threats occurring simultaneously.

"It's a very rare opportunity to be able to come to a foreign country and perform this type of training," Cpl. Shelby Baron, CBRN defense specialist with MAG-12, said. "Counter WMD is a higher echelon of control and it's difficult to coordinate with three different commands combining into one unit."

The exercise was conducted successfully with minimal incidents and strengthened the ability of the U.S. and Kingdom of Thailand to respond to a regional threat with multilateral defense tactics.