BAN CHAN KREM, Thailand - About 60 U.S. Marines from Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, teamed up with about 30 Royal Thai Marines to conduct live-fire training here Feb. 4 during Exercise Cobra Gold 2009.
Cobra Gold is a joint, coalition multinational exercise focused on maintaining and improving military interoperability among its participants.
The day started off with the Thai Marines guiding their U.S. counterparts through their "table three" course of fire, which focuses on combat firing techniques.
The largest difference between the Thai and U.S. versions of table three is that the firing in the Thai version is all done in the static position, and there is no speed reload drill, according to Master Sgt. Jay Salyers, operations chief for CLR-3.
After completing the Thai course of fire, the Marines transitioned to firing the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, giving the Thai Marines a chance to experience some of the weapon systems used by the U.S. Marines.
Salyers said, "Training with the Thai Marines is excellent because Thailand is one of our allies, and it helps build good working relations between us."
He went on to say, "The Thai Marines are outstanding; they are very disciplined, efficient and eager to learn."
This is one of the first times that CLR-3 has conducted combined live-fire training at Ban Chan Krem, although every year they participate in bilateral training with the Thai forces during Cobra Gold, said Salyers.
"It was a new experience getting to see [the Thai Marine Corps] method of weapons handling," said Cpl. Christopher Paulino, training noncommissioned officer for CLR-3.
Cpl. Brennan Seitz, motor transportation operator with CLR-3, added to that by saying, "Their stances and form with the weapon are all new to us."
Saylers said "Training with other gives our guy's a better understanding of what other militaries do."
He is confident that all of the Marines, both Thai and U.S., enjoyed training together. "If you put Marines behind a weapons system and let them shoot off a couple hundred rounds, it doesn't matter what country they are from, as long as the title 'Marine' is in their name, they come away happy," Salyers said.