News: Khaan Quest '11 comes to an end
Story by Cpl. Tyler Main
FIVE HILLS TRAINING AREA, Mongolia – Exercise Khaan Quest 2011 ended after more than two weeks of training was conducted between 11 nations, with more than a thousand participants, Aug. 12.
Khaan Quest is a U.S. Pacific Command combined joint-exercise hosted by the Mongolian armed forces, and in partnership with the U.S. military the exercise has been conducted annually since 2003 at the Five Hills Training Area. The exercise supports peacekeeping operations training in the form of a field training exercise and a command post exercise. Additionally, there are community outreach projects such as medical, dental, and veterinary civic action programs as well as an engineering civic action program, which all aim to benefit the local communities.
The purpose of the field training exercise and the command post exercise was to improve multinational interoperability between participating nations in peacekeeping operations worldwide.
“Nowadays more than 801,000 service members are participating in the peace support operations of more than 16 countries,” said Lt. Gen. Ts. Bayambajav, chief of the general staff, Mongolian Armed Forces. “This is evidence that the military has an important role in peace support operations, and that peace keeping is a prestigious job in which military persons can do.”
“The United Nations has been increasing its efforts and role to strengthen global peace and security,” said Mr. N. Enkhbold, vice speaker of the parliament of Mongolia. “[The U.N. is] actively carrying out a policy to settle international and regional disputes among nations by holding talks, political and diplomatic means and achieving some results.”
Participating nations’ representatives thanked the Mongolian Armed Forces for hosting the exercise, their hospitality and, most of all, their expertise in peace support operations.
“Mongolia has taken significant steps to strengthen its important role in supporting security and stability in the region,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Chaves, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army, Pacific Command. “The armed forces of Mongolia have also provided considerable support to ongoing peace efforts in Western Sahara, Kongo, Sudan, and coalition operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.”
Chaves also mentioned the importance of Exercise Khaan Quest as a multinational exercise and the benefits of developing interoperable forces.
“Our nations continue to demonstrate the willingness to develop a unified response and capabilities to work closely on a wide range of shared interests,” Chaves said. “Exercises like Khaan Quest serve as a platform to better prepare us to address traditional dilemmas and unconventional threats that transcend national borders.”
Once all remarks were complete, each countries’ platoon marched in a pass and review in front of Mongolian, international and Exercise Khaan Quest leaders.
After the ceremony, countries’ service members traded mementos to show their appreciation and respect for one another. Many countries’ service members walked away sporting a foreign military’s unit shirt or hat, which reflected the multinational flavor that Exercise Khaan Quest so strongly advocated.