Thailand, US scale down Cobra Gold exercise due to Omicron spread

Thailand and the United States have decided to scale down their annual joint military exercise Cobra Gold, set to be held from February 20 to March 5, due to the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, according to local media.

Illustrative image. (Photo:
Illustrative image. (Photo:

The Bangkok Post on January 17 cited a source in the Royal Thai Armed Forces as saying that although this year's Cobra Gold was to include substantial war game exercises, the emergence of Omicron has forced the downsizing.

As scheduled, drills will be held in eastern and central provinces of Thailand and involve command post, humanitarian/civic assistance as well as field-training exercises. Training that requires a large number of personnel will be canceled, including live fire, amphibious and evacuation operations.

As many as 3,600 troops will take part in the joint exercise, of whom 1,900 will be Thai soldiers and 1,700 will be drawn from the US and other participating countries.