Photo Information

A Sailor with Amphibious Squadron 11, guides a Humvee, driven by a Marine with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, onto a Navy landing craft here, Feb. 18. The vehicles were being loaded and brought back to the USS Germantown and USS Tortuga upon the conclusion of Exercise Cobra Gold 2012. CG 2012 demonstrates the resolve of the U.S. and participating nations to increase interoperability and promote security and peace throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The 31st MEU is the U.S.’s expeditionary force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Photo by Cpl. Garry J. Welch

31st MEU successfully completes Exercise Cobra Gold 2012

19 Feb 2012 | Cpl. Garry J. Welch

Marines and Sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit successfully completed Exercise Cobra Gold 2012 and retrograded onto the USS Tortuga and USS Germantown, Feb. 19.

During the exercise, armed forces from Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea worked alongside the Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU during a bilateral amphibious assault, mechanized raid, noncombatant evacuation operation and a combined arms live fire exercise, among several other training events.

“The 31st MEU was extremely successful during this exercise,” said Lt. Col. Brian C. Hawkins, the operations officer of the 31st MEU. “The Marines that participated get an opportunity to see different tactics and techniques that the other nations employ. By becoming more integrated and learning each other’s tactics and procedures we can operate better in any type of situation, whether it is a contingency mission or humanitarian aid and disaster relief.”

All of the exercises that were performed during CG12 were conducted to build upon the operational and personal relationships that the militaries of the U.S. and Kingdom of Thailand share.

With all training completed, the MEU began its transition back to patrolling the Asia-Pacific, by loading some Marines and Sailors onto the USS Tortuga and USS Germantown, while others were flown to Okinawa to meet Amphibious Squadron 11.

“Today we have sent 57 vehicles, 116 Marines and Sailors and more than 200 tons of gear to the ships,” said Sgt. Greg P. Spies, unit movement and control coordinator chief for the 31st MEU. “It’s a long process to get everyone where they need to go, and it takes a lot of planning, but we are out here getting it done.”

Now that Exercise Cobra Gold 2012 has concluded, Marines and Sailors with the 31st MEU will have the chance to relax and experience Thai culture during an upcoming port visit.

Cobra Gold is a recurring multinational and multiservice exercise hosted annually by the Kingdom of Thailand and developed by the Kingdom of Thailand and the U.S. militaries. CG12 is the 31st iteration of the exercise and is designed to advance regional security by exercising a robust multinational force from nations sharing common goals and security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 31st MEU is the U.S.’s expeditionary force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region and the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward deployed MEU.


31st Marine Expeditionary Unit