Ensign Beatrice Cayaban discusses equipment on the bridge of USS Ashland (LSD 48) with members of the Royal Thai Navy Armed Forces during a tour of ship. (U.S. Navy/MCSN Kelsey L. Adams)

SATTAHIP, Thailand - Amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) completed the multinational exercise Cobra Gold (CG) 16, Feb. 19.

A Thai-U.S. co-sponsored multinational joint exercise, CG is designed to advance regional security by exercising a robust multinational force from nations sharing common goals and security commitments in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Lt. Kyle Recker, 1st Lieutenant assigned to Ashland, felt that CG 16 was a win for all the nations who participated.

“We had multiple countries come together to plan and execute combined amphibious operations, a very difficult task, and we did it with great success,” said Recker. “The friendships we developed and the relationships we strengthened will help us operate together in future exercises.

Every branch of the U.S. military participated in the exercise.

“CG 16 was a resounding success from a joint forces standpoint,” said Recker. “Ashland integrated with the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Marine Corps throughout the exercise and we demonstrated our ability to work together to complete the mission.” As the only U.S. Navy ship participating in the exercise, Ashland played an integral role in the successful completion of CG 16.

Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class William Harmon, acting leading petty officer of Ashland’s deck department 2nd division, attributes Ashland’s success during the exercise to the well trained crew and competent leadership.

“The Sailors aboard Ashland trained for months leading up to CG 16,” said Harmon. “This exercise consisted of multiple training evolutions that required everyone aboard to work as a team. We worked hard and it is evident that we are a stronger and more capable unit.”

With the completion of CG 16, Ashland will depart Thailand and continue its routine patrol of the 7th Fleet area of operations.

Ashland is a part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready group and is scheduled to meet up with amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) at a later date.