Closing ceremony concludes Cobra Gold 2015

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Royal Thai Air Force and U.S. Marine pilots pose for a picture at a closing ceremony for Exercise Cobra Gold, Feb. 19.
Royal Thai Air Force and U.S. Marine pilots pose for a picture at a closing ceremony for Exercise Cobra Gold, Feb. 19.

Closing ceremony concludes Cobra Gold 2015

by: Lance Cpl. Mandaline Hatch, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office | .
U.S. Marine Corps | .
published: March 07, 2015

ROYAL THAI AIR FORCE BASE KORAT, Kingdom of Thailand -- Royal Thai Air Force and U.S. service members attended a closing ceremony for Exercise Cobra Gold 15, Feb. 19.

Cobra Gold demonstrated the commitment of the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States to their long-standing alliance and regional partnership to advance prosperity and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since the exercise commenced Feb. 1, U.S. service members and the RTAF have been building on that relationship. The closing ceremony gave them an opportunity to meet together one last time for CG 15 to exchange gifts, pleasantries and memories.

“It was a great opportunity to interact with the Thai nationals and the Royal Thai Air Force,” said Capt. Justin G. Schulz, the company commander for Headquarters Company, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

The night was filled with the sounds of music and laughter as service members let loose after a strenuous training exercise.

“The Royal Thai Air Force are our partners. We interact with them very well,” said Lt. Col. Keith H. Topel, the executive officer for Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, a Rochester, New York, native.

The closing ceremony signified the official ending of CG 15 in Korat. The friendships made, however, will be long remembered.

“I hope that we meet all of our Marine friends next year,” said Wing I Pilot, Flight Lt. Suphawat Bunnarat.

CG 15 is a Thai-U.S. co-sponsored multinational and joint theater security cooperation exercise, conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand, with 24 nations participating. This year marks the 182nd year of friendship between Thais and Americans, and the 34th iteration for the training exercise. For more information on exercise Cobra Gold, please visit the official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ExerciseCobraGold.