Photo Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew A. Ebarb
GULF OF THAILAND (Feb. 8, 2009) - Aviation Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Giancarlo Treano guides a Seahawk S70-B helicopter of the Thai Royal Navy onto the flight deck of the forward deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during an exercise in support of Cobra Gold 09 (CG 09). CG 09 is an annual Thailand and U.S.
co-sponsored joint coalition multinational military exercise designed to train a Thai, U.S. and Singaporean Coalition Task Force. The exercise will also include humanitarian civic action projects with participating nations from Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the U.S, and a U.S. Thai military field training exercise. Exercise Cobra Gold provides unique and dynamic training opportunities for participating military partners, while promoting relationship building between militaries and local communities. Essex, commanded by Capt. Brent Canady, is the lead ship of the only forward-deployed expeditionary strike group and serves as the flagship for CTF 76, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force commander. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with a detachment in Sasebo, Japan.