02.12.2016 -- UTAPAO, Thailand — UH-1Y Hueys maintain security in the air while amphibious units move ashore during an amphibious demonstration for Cobra Gold 16 at Utapao, Thailand, Feb. 12, 2016.
The amphibious capabilities demonstration is designed to increase naval interoperability, logistics capabilities, and combined military capabilities between the Republic of Korea, Thailand and the United States.
“During the demonstration, the MV-22 Osprey conducted helo-casting, which is the dropping of troops into a body of water from a low hover so they could ingress ashore,” said Capt. Samuel Riley, a UH-1Y Huey helicopter pilot with Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167, which is currently supporting Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program.
While troops were moving ashore, the UH-1Y Huey flew in a holding area, east of the demonstration, to help maintain security from above.
“The helicopter is capable of moving small amounts of troops and cargo so while the demonstration was going on we stood by in case they needed assistance moving troops,” said Riley, a native from San Antonio, Texas.
When the troops made it to shore, the UH-1Y Huey flew to a forward arming and refueling point, an area set aside away from base to allow helicopters to refuel and grab any needed cargo.
“FARP missions are necessary for helicopters due to the fact it would take so long to get back to base,” said Riley. “Being able to travel half the distance and still receive the fuel and items only gets us to mission success even faster.”
While working together, the ROK, Thai and US military are increasing the foundation and framework to support peace and the security of the region.
“Large scale exercises like this help teach us the ability to practice the planning, execution and debriefing in a live training environment,” said Riley. “With the repetition, it improves our ability to maneuver accordingly which gives us better experience to be able to conduct operations if need be.”
Cobra Gold is designed to strengthen partnered nations relationships, improve multi-national and joint interoperability, the capacity to plan and execute military operations, and improve proficiency and readiness of 1st MAW forces.