A Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) from the USS Essex (LHD 2) approaches Hat Yao Beach to offload elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit for participation in Cobra Gold 2009. CG09 is an annual Kingdom of Thailand and U.S. co-sponsored military exercise designed to train U.S. and partner Asian-Pacific forces. The exercise will include humanitarian projects with participants from Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the United States. The U.S. will also engage with Thai military forces in a field training exercise to promote familiarity with and cohesion between these partner nations' military forces. CG09 provides a multinational environment to strengthen the bonds between the Thai community and partner militaries.