BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
The Royal Government of Cambodia has hosted the First Multi-National Exercise “Angkor Sentinel 2010” with the participations from many countries in the region and in the world. About 1,000 military personnel and 137 trainees and observers from 26 countries have participated in the United Nations (UN)-sponsored Multi-National Exercise “Angkor Sentinel 2010” in Cambodia.
The Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said that the event has shown Cambodia government’s ability and especially the Royal Cambodia Armed Forces’ (RACF) capacity in preparing and organizing this multi-national military training in Cambodia.
The Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen stated that the Cambodian government has sent its troops to participate in the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces (UNPKO) in the Mine Clearance Mission in Sudan in the past the past five years.
He added that so far due to the RCAF’s hard work, strong commitments and ability, Cambodia’s Peace Keeping Forces have become one of the leading participated countries in the sector of mine clearance action in the world. This has brought Cambodia’s prestige and honour into the world through the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces (UNPKO) and under the umbrella of the United Nations Missions.
“On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and myself, I would like to warmly welcome all participated countries in the Multi-National Exercise Angkor Sentinel 2010 in Cambodia. I am also very proud with Cambodia Ministry of National Defence for its hard work in preparing and organizing this import multi-national military training in Cambodia,” he said during opening remarks delivered to the opening ceremony of the Multi-National Peace Keeping Exercise Angkor Sentinel 2010 in Kampong Speu province.
He said that this event will help enlarge Cambodian government in building its capacity and integrate Cambodian military work into humanitarian works in order to provide security, stability and peace for people in the world. He added that to support the UN Missions, Cambodia will send more troops to attend the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in the world in future.
H.E. General Moeung Samphan, Secretary of State for the Ministry of National Defense, said that the Cambodian Royal Armed Forces (RCAF) has the greatest honour for hosting the Globe Peace Operation Initiative called “Angkor Sentinel 2010” supported by the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) in Cambodia.
The objectives of the “Angkor Sentinel 2010” Exercise is aimed at the response to the global challenge that no single country can afford; to work together cooperatively as a team; and strengthen the bilateral military cooperation between Cambodia-United States and multi-lateral military cooperation between Cambodia and all the participated countries aiming to fulfil the need of the UN without caring any political tendency.
The Secretary of State added that it is also to enhance capacity of professional military and to bring about unity; to be ready for the common operations, and to help improving military capacities among the participated countries in making plans for the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces (UNPKO) in the world.
“I would also like to remind you all that Global Peace Operation Initiative (GPOI) has been conducted four times already with other countries from 2007 to 2009 as in Khaan Quest 2007 and 2009 in Mongolia, Shanti Doot 2008 in Bangladesh, and Garuda Shield 2009 in Indonesia. This is the fifth time and also the first one for Cambodia to host “Angkor Sentinel” with the participation of 26 countries and about 1,000 personnel,” he said during his opening remarks of a Command Post Exercise (CPX) on July 12th.
He stated that the “Angkor Sentinel 2010” exercise is divided into two areas including the CPX located in Phnom Penh Hotel; the Field Training Exercise (FTX) located at the ACO Multi-national Peace-keeping Operational Exercise in Kampong Speu province.
“As widely known, there is no single country in the world that has the full capacity to response or solve unpredicted crises such as armed conflicts, illegal weapons, drugs smuggling, human trafficking, and other natural disasters alone,” he said.
Lieutenant General Nem Sowath, General Director for the General Department of Policy and Foreign Affairs in Ministry of National Defense, said that as result of the win-win policy, under the wise leadership of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, three decades of Cambodian civil war was financially brought to an end and the country received national peace.
General Nem Sowath stated that Cambodia continues to implement its foreign policy, through the development of forces to support the United Nations’ peace-keeping missions, just 15 years after UNTAC’s mission in Cambodia.
“Due to the important reasons and the strong cooperation with the United States of America, Cambodia and the US has been working in collaboration to develop this GPOI with the aim to increase the human resource capacity for the Peace Keeping Forces of the United Nations,” he said.
He added that the actual training exercise will take place for 12 days and is divided into three sessions including first is an academic session to introduce to general theoretical framework, second is of a Mini Exercise, and the third is an actual operational applications. There are 137 trainees and observers from 26 countries.
“All training participants will take part in an intensive learning program as required by their active involvement and efforts at all times in order to succeed. They will form a generation of trainees that have the opportunity to develop strong cooperation, understanding and lasting relations that will promote their knowledge and expertise to an even higher level. This will increase the capacity of the peace keeping forces as well as the military-civilian relations which is the important goal of this training exercise,” he said.
Carol A. Rodley, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, said that by hosting Angkor Sentinel 2010, Cambodia has distinguished itself as one of the leading peacekeeping countries in Southeast Asia that has developed a top notch professional peace support operations force and a modern peace keeping training facility.
She added that the Command Post Exercise that opens today will help officers from Cambodia’s peacekeeping forces to further develop their command skills, which will eventually lead to their seamless integration into the U.N. command structure on the ground. The exercise will also allow this country’s peacekeepers to expand beyond their current duties of de-mining and protection, and evolve into a full service unit that can be called upon for duty anywhere in the world.
“The United States is proud to have played a role in the development of this exercise, and in the continued professionalization of this country’s armed forces. We expect that this exercise, coupled with Cambodia’s continued determination and willingness to participate in global peacekeeping operations, will eventually lead to the country becoming a regional leader in this area. By using the experiences gained from its difficult past, Cambodian soldiers are well equipped to support other nations as they face difficult times and hardship,” she said.