News: Khaan Quest 2014 comes to an end
Story by Cpl. Alyssa N. Gunton
FIVE HILLS TRAINING AREA, Mongolia - “It’s my pleasure to express my sincere gratitude to the countries for sending their military personnel and peacekeepers to the Khaan Quest 2014 multinational peace support operations exercise, and unifying for the global peace deeds, and also to the individuals for coming to our country to contribute to the global harmony, wishing a success to the cause of the global peace,” said President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj during the exercise’s closing ceremony.
Over 100 distinguished guests and hundreds of service members from across the world attended the event July 1 at Five Hills Training Area, Mongolia. The exercise officially began June 20.
KQ14 is a regularly scheduled, multinational exercise hosted annually by Mongolian Armed Forces and co-sponsored this year by U.S. Army, Pacific, and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. KQ14 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote regional peace and security. This year marks the 12th iteration of this training event.
Soldiers from across U.S. Army, Pacific participated in the exercise, primarily from the Alaska Army National Guard, along with Marines from Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, which is currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program, participated in the exercise.
“Currently, more than 98,000 unified personnel are serving in the U.N. peace keeping missions in 16 different countries” said Lt. Gen. Ts. Byambajav, the chief of the general staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces. “The successful accomplishment of Khaan Quest 2014, which is a result of our cooperative effort, has positively contributed to the structure of the regular force of the United Nations. Khaan Quest has been making its contribution to meet the necessities to organize constant training and exercises among the nations to improve the peace keepers’ skills and expertise to perform their duties and to share their experience and lessons learned during the peace support operations.”
The exercise consisted of four main components, a combined battalion-level command post exercise, a platoon-level field training exercise, engineering civic action program projects and cooperative health engagement events, which comprise more than 1,200 peacekeepers from 24 countries.
At the CHE, international military doctors gave medical aid to thousands of citizens at the 42nd Elementary School in Songino-khairkhan District, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Through the ENCAP projects, international military construction workersand engineers set up water distribution at 4th Khoroo of Songino-khairkhan and renovated the 114th Kindergarten’s building.
“During the exercise, peacekeepers learned peacekeeping operational techniques and shared their experience,” said Byambajav. “These complex humanitarian activities made in Ulaanbaatar have become (some of the most significant parts) of the exercise.”
Multinational training exercises, such as Khaan Quest, allow our nations’ militaries to broaden their knowledge and understanding of each other and build bonds stronger than those built any other way, according to U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, the commanding general of the U.S. Army's I Corps.
“Over the past two weeks, soldiers and Marines from 24 nations have had the opportunity to train together and build everlasting bonds,” said Lanza. “In the process, they have shared their expertise on a number of missions that have ranged from peacekeeping, to improving the Mongolian infrastructure, to conducting medical service missions in the community.”
Through the FTX, service members were able to learn and practice unique peacekeeping tactics from instructors who have real-world experience while working side-by-side with members of foreign countries, according to U.S. Marine Capt. Joseph Best, the commanding officer of Company C.
“The successful completion of this year’s Khaan Quest exercise should serve as a source of encouragement to us all that the complex security challenges facing our communities will be met with a unified effort forged through bonds created in this and similar exercises,” said Lanza.