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CONTACT: Capt. Patrick Dixon, 2-108th Infantry, 315-793-5220
FOR RELEASE: Thursday, Jan 29, 2009

National Guard Soldiers Deploy to Thailand for Training

Troops to Support U.S. Pacific Commandís Cobra Gold Training Exercise


Approximately 275 Citizen Soldiers from across NYS


UTICA, N.Y. - Approximately 275 Soldiers and Airmen from the New York National Guard deploy to Thailand from armories across the state on Jan. 29. The overseas deployment training will support the U.S. Pacific Command Cobra Gold 2009 training exercise in Thailand alongside members of the Thai army.


Thursday, January 29, 2009. Soldiers depart their home armories around 11 a.m.


Soldiers depart from armories in Utica, Buffalo, Geneseo, Saranac Lake, Morrisonville, Schenectady and Peekskill.

The annual exercise brings together forces from the United States and Pacific Rim nations to train together for combat operations, military planning, humanitarian assistance or disaster response missions and civil affairs operations. Cobra Gold 2009 includes service members from the active, Reserve, and Guard components of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to work with their Thai army counterparts. The main focus is to maximize Joint and Combined Operation in order to develop and enhance interoperability and capabilities of military forces. This deployment for the New York National Guard will also mark 26 years that the Kingdom of Thailand has hosted Cobra Gold. The exercise is important to maintaining military to military relations with forces in the region. While Cobra Gold is a military training exercise, it offers unique opportunities for service men and women from the U.S. to work with neighbors and allies in Asia to develop friendships that improve understanding beyond military operations. The task force preparing to deploy this week includes elements from across the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry, commanded by Lt. Col. Joseph Biehler. The 2-108th Infantry, based in Utica, N.Y. will also lead elements of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry from New York's Hudson Valley and the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry from Buffalo, N.Y. Cobra Gold training will include small unit tactics, live fire exercises, communications and employing close air support and artillery fires; land navigation and reacting to combat scenarios such as ambushes and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Soldiers from the 3rd Thai Army plan to teach their U.S. guests hand-to-hand combat and jungle survival skills. The New York National Guard infantry Soldiers, known and respected for their effectiveness and use of technology will demonstrate several emerging weapons such as unmanned aerial vehicle systems. In the end, Cobra Gold will attempt to share knowledge and culture amongst allies, in order to maintain and improve military to military relations and capabilities. The unit is expected to return home to New York around the 22nd of February.
© NYS DMNA Press Release:National Guard Soldiers Deploy to Thailand for Training
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