Cobra Gold 2013 holds evacuation drill in Thailand for Japanese

Kyodo

As part of this year’s Cobra Gold multinational military exercise, a drill to practice the emergency evacuation and transportation of Japanese nationals during humanitarian crises was held Sunday at the beach resort of Pattaya, on Thailand’s coast.

Based on this scenario, around 20 Japanese Embassy personnel and their families acted as evacuees and traveled by car to Pattaya Stadium. After passing through an evacuation control site at the stadium, where their identities and belongings were checked, they were transported by U.S. Marine helicopters to a U.S. naval ship off the eastern coast of Thailand.

The deputy commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces in the Pacific, Brig. Gen. Richard Simcock, said it is “critically important” for the Asia-Pacific region to bolster its preparedness for both natural and man-made disasters.

Cobra Gold 2013, the largest multinational drill in the region, kicked off Monday in Thailand. The 11-day exercise involves 13,000 military personnel from the United States and six Asian countries — Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, the host nation.