• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 24s

Alaskan soliders demonstrate strategic importance in Thailand

By Bonney Bowman 10:46 PM February 19, 2014

During Operation Cobra Gold, soldiers had to parachute into the country, retake an airfield from a fictional rebel force and repair the runway for humanitarian relief

THAILAND - Thailand is one of the United States’ oldest allies, but that doesn’t mean working together comes without its obstacles.

A group of Alaskan soldiers recently went to Thailand on a training mission called Operation Cobra Gold.

They had to parachute into the country, retake an airfield from a fictional rebel force and then repair the runway for humanitarian relief.

Operations like Cobra Gold allow our soldiers to practice today, making a difference when the real disaster strikes.

“We are ready to go any place, anytime to do anything and those three things are uncertain, but what is certain is we’re going to be doing it with somebody else,” said Col. Matt McFarlane.

Col. McFarlane is the commander of the 4-25 Airborne Combat Brigade, the only paratrooper unit in the country with the ability to immediately respond to a crisis in the Pacific.

That makes Alaska an important strategic location for operations in the region.

“In mere hours, we can be wheels up from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and responding to any crisis whether it’s combat operations with a near peer threat or humanitarian aid disaster relief,” McFarlane said.

Working in the Pacific means partnering with military allies, like the Thai forces.

Maj. Surachart Ruanwong was part of a group of Thai paratroopers who came to Alaska, then jumped back into his country with the 4-25.

Serving side by side is a valuable lesson for all the soldiers in the field.

“I learned many things, new techniques and new routine for us,” Ruanwong said. ”We’ve never had something like this before.”

A traditional wing exchange ceremony reinforced the bond between the countries, made that much stronger by a successful operation.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Charging documents show woman found in car was tortured, shot before being killed

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jun 29, 17:17

    A late night DUI crash turned into a homicide investigation after police found a dead woman in the back of a vehicle Monday night. Charging documents against the driver, 34-year-old Benjamin Wilkins, revealed the woman had been severely injured and killed prior to the crash. Wilkins was detained on suspicion of intoxication after failing field sobriety […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaskans: Be bear aware with fish waste

    by Megan Edge on Jun 29, 13:50

    Fishermen, watch where you waste. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is asking you to dispose of any leftover fish parts and pieces in the appropriate areas. Tossing waste in the wrong places can be dangerous for bears and humans, plus it could lead to a fine. “It’s fishing season and folks need to […]

  • Crime

    Teens suspected in kidnapping, robbery attempt in Eagle River

    by Associated Press on Jun 29, 13:50

    Three teenagers are being held on suspicion of kidnapping an Eagle River resident during a robbery attempt. Alaska State Troopers say two of the teens, a 19-year-old and an 18-year-old, are from Wasilla. They say a 17-year-old will be waived to adult status in the case. Troopers say that at about 4 a.m. Wednesday, the […]

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: 10 skills to master to impress an employer

    by Daybreak Staff on Jun 29, 12:40

    Getting a job is all about knowing what to do and what not to do in order to get that interview, then climb the ladder, especially as the state’s job force becomes more competitive. Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium’s (APICC) outreach coordinator meets with businesses statewide to get a better feel for the workforce. Martha […]

  • News

    Showing some skin: Army says sleeves can now be rolled up

    by KTVA 11 News on Jun 29, 12:16

    Just in time for the summer heat, the U.S. Army has granted permission for soldiers to roll up their sleeves. Now, commanders may give the green light to soldiers to roll up the sleeves on their Army combat uniforms. The authorization, effective immediately, was signed into action on June 28, according to an Army release. […]

  • DayBreak

    Doctor heals Alaskans with regenerative medicine

    by Daybreak Staff on Jun 29, 11:46

    An innovative treatment that could eventually improve stubborn injuries like tennis elbow and knee tendonitis is now being offered in Alaska. It’s called regenerative medicine. Dr. Matthew Peterson, medical director at Algone Interventional Pain Clinic, said regenerative medicine utilizes the patients own blood to help them heal. Peterson went on to say it processes the […]

  • News

    Turkish PM outlines bombers’ airport attack tactics

    by CBS/AP on Jun 29, 11:39

    Last Updated Jun 29, 2016 3:00 PM EDT Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday one of the attackers at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport blew himself up outside, giving the other two the opportunity to get inside the building. “When the terrorists couldn’t pass the regular security system, when they couldn’t pass the scanners, police and security controls, […]

  • Politics

    Gov. Walker caps this year’s PFD checks at $1,000

    by Liz Raines on Jun 29, 11:20

      Updated at 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29 ANCHORAGE — In an unprecedented move, Gov. Bill Walker announced Wednesday morning he’s partially vetoing funding for the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks this fall – cutting them to $1,000 instead of an estimated $2,000 under current calculations. “The cuts we’re making are difficult, but we’re […]