Cobra Gold Exercise - Facts for UPSC Exam

Thailand hosts Cobra Gold, the annual Asia-Pacific military exercise. Cobra Gold is the largest Asia-Pacific military exercise held annually between Thailand, the USA, and 27 nations. It takes place in Thailand every year. The recent edition of Cobra Gold exercise was flagged off on February 25, 2020. In the IAS Exam, prelims can have questions on military exercises and their characteristics. Read on to know relevant facts about the Cobra Gold exercise for UPSC preparation.

To cover some important topics of the UPSC Syllabus, candidates can check the following links:

Facts about Cobra Gold Exercise for UPSC

The list below mentions the important facts which an IAS aspirant should know about the Cobra Gold exercise –

  1. It is one of the largest multinational military exercises. It is also known as Thailand and U.S.-sponsored Combined Joint Task Force and Joint Theater Security Cooperation exercise
  2. The first Cobra Gold exercise was held in 1982.
  3. The exercise is between Thailand, the USA with allied and partner nations.
  4. It is the largest Asia-Pacific military exercise held every year.
  5. This military training exercise helped in enhancing coordination in humanitarian efforts and hostile military efforts between the armed forces of the USA and Thailand.
  6. The goal of exercise Cobra Gold is to strengthen ties between these two allies.
  7. Thailand happens to be the oldest ally of the USA in the Sothern Asian region.
  8. Cobra Gold has helped in delivering health care to the local people of Thailand.
  9. It has also served as a ground for testing of battlefield technologies such as the weaponry powered by solar energy.
  10. In 2015, China was admitted into the Cobra Gold exercise but the Chinese army only participated in humanitarian assistance training.
  11. India has the status of the observer plus country because of its increasing regional operability.

Cobra Gold 2020

The tables below list down the countries that participated in Cobra Gold 2020:

Cobra Gold 2020 Participants

  • The United States
  • Thailand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Indonesia
  • Japan and 
  • Malaysia
  • Brunei
  • Laos
  • Cambodia
  • Israel
  • Vietnam
  • Germany
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Brazil and 
  • Sweden
Multinational Planning Augmentation Team
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • the United Kingdom
  • Nepal
  • the Philippines
  • Fiji and 
  • New Zealand

The exercises that took place in Cobra Gold 2020 are:

  1. Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise (CALFEX) – Which involves live ammunitions
  2. Command Post Exercise (CPX)
  3. Amphibious Exercise (AMPHIBEX)
  4. Cyber Exercise (CYBEREX)

In Cobra Gold 2020, landmine reduction operation has been introduced. U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft and the high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) participated in the 2020 exercise of Cobra Gold.


The bilateral and multilateral exercises are important for UPSC exam. Objective-type questions in prelims can be asked from these. One can refer to the list of Indian Army exercises in the linked article to know about major bilateral military exercises that take place between India and other nations.

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