FORT ADISORN, Thailand - Soldiers from the Lancer Brigade, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Center stand together in ceremony, here, June 27, for the opening of the fifth annual bilateral exercise, Hanuman Guardian.

Hanuman Guardian 2016 will provide the Royal Thai and U.S. Armies with challenging training scenarios, improve military readiness to respond to crisis and enhance relations between the two long-standing allies. Brig. Gen. Brian Alvin, Deputy Commanding General for the United States Army Reserve, and Lt. Gen. Thakonkiat Nuanyong, Director General of the Royal Thai Army Training Command, presided over the event.

"This year's exercise marks 183 years of U.S. - Thai relations," said Alvin in his address to the assembled soldiers. "You are our oldest treaty ally in Asia, and we have a proud history of close cooperation and friendship between our militaries."

"This partnership has not only stood the test of time but also proved beneficial for our two countries as we work together to promote continued prosperity in the Pacific region," said Alvin.

The bilateral exercise will focus on improving Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response capability, medical care, search and rescue operations, aviation and aviation maintenance interoperability and military planning. The exercise's culminating event is a joint staff exercise to help both nations enhance their skills in staff planning and execution of HADR missions.

"This is a great opportunity to sustain readiness in a different environment," said Maj. Michael Taylor, the operations officer for 2-2 SBCT. "Together with the [Royal Thai Army], we'll conduct a robust training plan that will address a wide range of humanitarian assistance capabilities and overall readiness that will also benefit the greater community if ever called upon."

In addition to their work in Thailand, soldiers from Lancer Brigade will work in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

"Hanuman Guardian is part of a series of exercises in the region that strengthens our relationships, builds readiness and stresses our capabilities together," said Taylor. "When Pacific Pathways is complete, our forces will have gained a better understanding of our partners in the region and how to work with them in the future."