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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

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Exercise Cobra Gold 2014 offers fun for community

By Cpl. James Smith | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni | February 11, 2014

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Flight Lt. Rungroj Pomwatthanamongkol, right, and Lance Cpl. Michael Bridenstine enjoy a community relations project with students from Nakhon Ratchasima Punyanukul School in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, during a community relations event for exercise Cobra Gold 2014 Feb. 11. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing multinational interoperability. Pomwatthanamongkol is a pilot with Squadron 401, Wing 4, Royal Thai Air Force. Bridenstine is a chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear defense specialist with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Flight Lt. Rungroj Pomwatthanamongkol, right, and Lance Cpl. Michael Bridenstine enjoy a community relations project with students from Nakhon Ratchasima Punyanukul School in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, during a community relations event for exercise Cobra Gold 2014 Feb. 11. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing multinational interoperability. Pomwatthanamongkol is a pilot with Squadron 401, Wing 4, Royal Thai Air Force. Bridenstine is a chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear defense specialist with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (Photo by Cpl. James R. Smith)


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Flight Lt. Jirayu Doungnui, left, and Cpl. Michael Pigg dance with students from Nakhon Ratchasima Punyanukul School in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, during a community relations event for exercise Cobra Gold 2014 Feb. 11. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing multinational` interoperability. Doungnui is with Civil Affairs, Royal Thai Air Force. Pigg is a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense specialist with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. James R. Smith/released)

Flight Lt. Jirayu Doungnui, left, and Cpl. Michael Pigg dance with students from Nakhon Ratchasima Punyanukul School in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, during a community relations event for exercise Cobra Gold 2014 Feb. 11. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing multinational` interoperability. Doungnui is with Civil Affairs, Royal Thai Air Force. Pigg is a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense specialist with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. James R. Smith/released) (Photo by Cpl. James R. Smith)


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From left, Petty Officer 1st Class Amaflor Pinera, Petty Officer 3rd Class Joel Reidell and Flight Lt. Rungroj Pomwatthanamongkol dance with students from Nakhon Ratchasima Punyanukul School in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, during a community relations event for exercise Cobra Gold 2014 Feb. 11. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing multinational interoperability. Pomwatthanamongkol is a pilot with Squadron 401, Wing 4, Royal Thai Air Force. Pinera is an x-ray technician with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. Reidell is a field medical technician from MWSS-171.

From left, Petty Officer 1st Class Amaflor Pinera, Petty Officer 3rd Class Joel Reidell and Flight Lt. Rungroj Pomwatthanamongkol dance with students from Nakhon Ratchasima Punyanukul School in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, during a community relations event for exercise Cobra Gold 2014 Feb. 11. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing multinational interoperability. Pomwatthanamongkol is a pilot with Squadron 401, Wing 4, Royal Thai Air Force. Pinera is an x-ray technician with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. Reidell is a field medical technician from MWSS-171. (Photo by Cpl. James R. Smith)


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Royal Thai and U.S. service members and students from Nakhon Ratchasima Punyanukul School in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, partner together for a race during a community relations event for exercise Cobra Gold 2014 Feb. 11. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing multinational interoperability. The U.S. service members are with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Royal Thai and U.S. service members and students from Nakhon Ratchasima Punyanukul School in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, partner together for a race during a community relations event for exercise Cobra Gold 2014 Feb. 11. CG 14 is a joint, multinational exercise conducted annually in the Kingdom of Thailand aimed at enhancing and increasing multinational interoperability. The U.S. service members are with Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (Photo by Cpl. James R. Smith)


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NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand --

Members of the Royal Thai Air Force and U.S.Marines and sailors worked together during a combined community relations event at Nakhon Ratchasima Punyanukul School in Nakhon Ratchasima, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 11 during exercise Cobra Gold 2014.

Service members participating in CG 14 played games and had the opportunity to interact with the local children. CG 14 is a Thailand-sponsored multinational exercise that aims at enhancing and increasing interoperability between partners.

“It was a unique and amazing experience to have a combined joint community relations project with the Royal Thai Air Force in their community,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Travis E. Coffey, deputy chaplain for Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “It solidifies our military partnership in a practical, meaningful and tangible way.”

Some students introduced themselves by showing off their dance moves before everyone got together to perform “The Chicken Dance.”

Throughout the event, Royal Thai Air Force members could see how service members in another country performed outside of their military occupation specialty.

“I feel honored to be able to work alongside with U.S. service members,” said Flight Lt. Rungroj Pomwatthanamongkol, a pilot with Squadron 401, Wing 4, Royal Thai Air Force. “To see their professionalism outside of military training and in the real world is amazing. It’s great to be able to share this humanitarian relations event and to create a relationship with everyone.”

Once the games had ceased, the service members spent their last moments sharing treats and interacting with children. Staff from the school ended the day by presenting gifts to both U.S. service members and members of the Royal Thai Air Force.

“I’m thankful that the Royal Thai Air Force service members and the leadership of Marine commands made it a priority to not only combine efforts in the tactical measures, but into community relation projects as well,” said Coffey.

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