Exercise Khaan Quest 2011 kicks off with multinational opening ceremony
By Cpl. Tyler Main
| | August 02, 2011
FIVE HILLS TRAINING AREA, Mongolia --
Exercise Khaan Quest 2011 kicked off with the opening ceremony at Five Hills Training Area near Ulaanbatar, Mongolia, Sunday. Service members and delegates of more than 10 participating nations were addressed by Mongolian President Ts. Elbegdorj, Lt. Gen. Ts. Byambajav, chief of general staff, Mongolian Armed Forces, and Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., commanding general, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“The government and the people of Mongolia consider Khaan Quest as an event of profound importance, making valid contribution to expanding the rights of United Nations peace keepers, and increasing peace support capacities of participating nations, promoting security and military confidence in the Asia Pacific region,” Elbegdorj said. “I want every peace keeper to aim at obtaining the necessary skills and expertise in military affairs required for United Nations peace support operations, ultimately being prepared to stand up to any unexpected threat.”
Khaan Quest is a combined joint exercise hosted by the Mongolian Armed Forces in partnership with U.S. Pacific Command forces, and has been conducted annually since 2003 at the Five Hills Training Area in Mongolia. It is a multinational exercise that supports peacekeeping operations and consists of different events including a command post exercise, a field training exercise, an engineering civic action program and a medical civic action program.
“Khaan Quest has become the world’s preeminent peacekeeping exercise,” Glueck said. “We have learned that we can maintain security more effectively when we pursue it as partners working in conjunction with like-minded countries with mutual interests.”
The command post exercise supports the Mongolian Defense Reform Program’s goal to establish and globally deploy battalion-sized units as part of a coalition force.
The goal of the field training exercise is to improve multinational speed of response, mission effectiveness, interoperability, unity of effort and individual skill. During the field training exercise, the multinational forces will complete various training scenarios and weapons familiarization and share military tactics, techniques and procedures. Marines from 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, will be participating in the field training exercise and serving as live-fire range instructors and Marine Corps martial arts instructors.
The engineering and medical civic action programs are intended to promote civil-military interoperability and enhance medical and engineering capabilities. The joint medical teams will provide basic medical care in an unfamiliar environment, offering preventative medicine, dental and veterinary care. Care will be provided to Mongolians who lack regular access to medical care, and the newly constructed medical facility wing, which will last for years to come, will be presented to the communities.
Khaan Quest also serves as an opportunity to strengthen multinational relationships in the Pacific region and is a premier combined joint-training exercise designed to strengthen the capabilities of U.S., Mongolian and partner forces in individual and small-unit tactics.
“The fundamental values of security, stability and prosperity are common to us all,” Glueck said. “Finding a group of nations willing to pursue these values seems simple enough – though we know the actual implementation is often more challenging.”
Additional goals of the exercise include working with the Mongolian Armed Forces in further developing the Five Hills Training Area, enhancing peace-support capabilities, and increasing interoperability and planning proficiency among all participant forces.
“Khaan Quest is an outstanding example of how like-minded nations can work together in a common cause,” Glueck said.