Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Inf. Division, and their counterparts from the 23rd Inf. Reg., 4th Bat., Royal Thai Army, officially started Exercise Hanuman Guardian 20 at an opening ceremony Feb. 24, 2020 at Camp Friendship in Korat, Thailand.
Hanuman Guardian is an annual exercise, now in its tenth iteration, that is designed to enhance U.S. Army and Royal Thai Army capabilities, build strong relationships between both armies and increase mission readiness, enabling regional security and stability. HG20 upholds U.S. commitments with its allies and key regional partners to provide trained, ready, and interoperable Army forces for a full spectrum of operations.
"Hanuman Guardian is an opportunity to learn about each other's culture and to strengthen the already strong relationship that exists between Thailand and the United States" said Col. John Lubas, the commander of 3rd Brigade, 25th ID. "We have full confidence that the respect we have for one another will increase throughout the training exercise and make our relationship even stronger."
The approximately 900 American and Thai Soldiers standing in formation for the ceremony only represent a portion of the total force participating in the exercise. U.S participation includes approximately 1,440 personnel from the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division from Schofield Barracks Hawaii. Thai participation includes approximately 700 personnel for a total of 2,140 personnel participating in HG 20.
"This is the tenth, and most robust iteration of Hanuman Guardian. It remains focused on increasing readiness, interoperability and collaboration between our nations," said Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson, the deputy commander of U.S. Army Pacific and ceremony guest speaker.
HG 20 is scheduled to continue until the last part of May 2020. The primary planned training events include a military decision-making process exercise, a platoon and company level field training exercise, and a live fire exercise. Also included in the overall exercise will be several trainings focusing on counter improvised explosive devices, medical support and aviation operations.
"Building a strong partnership, and understanding how each Army trains and executes their military duties will garner the collective and combined capability to respond to not just regional security concerns, but any unforeseen disaster." said Johnson.
HG 20 provides the opportunity to strengthen the commitment of the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States to their long-standing alliance.
"Seeing you stand together, shoulder-to-shoulder, symbolizes why we conduct this exercise," said Johnson. "My final words to you are, be proud of what you do for your nations and continue to inspire the world that is watching you."