National Guard soldiers deploy to Thailand for training

MORRISONVILLE - Twelve men from the New York National Guard deployed to Thailand from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry armory, Jan. 29.

The men - who come from communities which include Plattsburgh, Morrisonville, Chazy, Champlain and Ellenburg - joined approximately 275 soldiers and airmen from around the state in support of the U.S. Pacific Command Cobra Gold 2009 training exercise in Thailand. There, U.S. soldiers will train alongside members of the Thai army.

The annual exercise brings together forces from the U.S. and Pacific Rim nations to train together for combat operations, military planning, humanitarian assistance or disaster response missions and civil affairs operations. The main focus is to maximize joint and combined operation in order to develop and enhance interoperability and capabilities of military forces.

The Jan. 29 deployment also marks 26 years the Kingdom of Thailand has hosted Cobra Gold. The exercise is reportedly important to maintaining military-to-military relations with forces in the region.

The local unit is expected to return home approximately Sunday, Feb. 22.

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