Photo Information

Cpl. Jeremy Hurlbert, a military policeman with Combat Logistics Battalion 31 (CLB-31), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), instructs a Royal Thai Marine on how to properly apply a non-lethal takedown move during a subject-matter expert exchange (SMEE) between Royal Thai security Marines and CLB-31, Feb. 5. The MEU is currently participating in exercise Cobra Gold 2010 (CG’ 10). The exercise is the latest in a continuing series of exercises design to promote regional peace and security.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael A. Bianco

Royal Thai and U.S. Marines Exchange Military Tactics

10 Feb 2010 | Lance Cpl. Michael Bianco

More than 60 Royal Thai Marines with Security Platoon, trained along side military policemen from Combat Logistics Battalion 31 (CLB-31), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), during a subject-matter expert exchange (SMEE) program as part of Cobra Gold 2010 (CG’ 10), Feb. 4-5. 

The SMEE was designed to allow both militaries the opportunity to exchange tactics on riot control, mechanic advantage control hold (MACH) and baton techniques designed to gain control of a non-compliant suspect.

According to Lance Cpl. Cornelius Greer, a military policeman with CLB-31, this was the first time he was able to work along side his Royal Thai counterparts and learn different techniques to enhance his job skills.

            The two-day event was comprised of classroom and practical application sessions. The classroom sessions focused on the muscles and areas of the body that is affected when performing a technique.

“The new techniques we learned will help us become more proficient at our job,” said Royal Thai Marine Pvt. Staporn Deyeam Sakoon, a security man with Security Plt. “Opportunities like this help us build camaraderie that will keep our nations’ relationship strong.”

Additionally, both countries’ Marines were instructed on the importance of using non-lethal force as compared to deadly force.

            “The use of deadly force is only necessary when your life is on the line,” said Gunnery Sgt. Greg Ashby, the subject-matter expert on crowd control with 3rd Marine Headquarters Group (MHG), III Marine Expeditionary Force. “Non-lethal force is used to deescalate a situation fast without causing permanent damage to someone.”

            For practical application the Marines were given a demonstration and then a chance to rehearse the new techniques.            

Ashby noted that the training gave junior U.S. Marines a chance to demonstrate leadership skills while overcoming different cultural barriers.

            “When you do something like this, you always think the language barrier is going to be a significant factor. But we had an excellent translator and all the Marines were motivated to keep learning. Everyone was running at 100 percent the entire time,” said the Louisville, Ky. native. “One day (the Marines) will be (gunnery sergeants) and they’ll have more experience than I have now; which will help them become even better leaders.”

            CG’ 10 expanded the MEU’s capabilities and progress made by previous exercises in terms of participating with other nations and their ability to conduct joint and multinational operations.   

The MEU is now scheduled to continue its spring patrol and participate in Balikatan 2010 with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.


31st Marine Expeditionary Unit