FIVE HILLS TRAINING CENTER, Mongolia – The president of Mongolia, Nambariyn Enkhbayar, officially kicked off the multinational peace support operations training exercise known as Khaan Quest 07 during an opening ceremony here today.
The exercise aims to increase the peacekeeping abilities of the more than 1,000 participating multinational service members as well as improve international speed of response, mission effectiveness, interoperability and unity of effort in peacekeeping operations.
“I have no hesitation [that] this exercise will enhance peacekeeping capacities of each and every one,” said Enkhbayar. “Today, about 2,000 personnel from our armed forces have already taken part in the United Nations mandated operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, and several African countries and an international operation to reconstruct post-war Iraq and provide humanitarian assistance to its people.”
The Mongolian Armed Force personnel are no strangers to peacekeeping operations. Currently, there are more than 400 MAF serving in eight countries on four continents.
Their involvement couples well with the experience of the U.S. armed forces.
“It’s helpful to train with countries that deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan with us,” said Capt. Patrick Keane, platoon commander, Company G, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. “They were one of the first to back us up in Iraq, and they took part in peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone.”
In addition to the field training exercise, the MAF and U.S. forces will conduct Humanitarian Civic Assistance projects and a command post exercise focusing on multinational peace support operations and United Nations planning and execution.
The senior U.S. Pacific Command representative at the opening ceremony, Maj. Gen. Vern T. Miyagi, mobilization assistant to the commander of U. S. Pacific Forces, said, “Exercises such as Khaan Quest are the type of exercise that contribute enormously to developing the Asia-Pacific’s regional peacekeeping capabilities.”