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Oregon National Guard Arrives in Mongolia for United Nations TrainingSalem-News.com
Oregon soldiers will interact with soldiers from places like India, Fiji, the Republic of Korea and Tonga.
(ULAANBATAAR, Mongolia) - Nearly 90 Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers arrived in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia, August 9-10 to participate in Khaan Quest 2006, a United Nations peacekeeping training exercise.
Soldiers from B Company, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, based out of Corvallis, Cottage Grove and Eugene will participate in Khaan Quest 2006, a platoon level, peace support operations training exercise sponsored by the Mongolian Armed Forces and U.S. Pacific Command.
"Everyone arrived here in a great frame of mind, they are all excited and ready to train," said Lt. Col. Edward Tanguy, contingency commander for Khaan Quest 2006 and commander of 2nd Bn., 162nd Inf. "You don't really realize how big this is and how important it is until you get here and start meeting soldiers from other countries."
Oregon Soldiers are among 220 U.S. military personnel, including nearly 50 members of the Alaska National Guard, participating in the training exercise with 630 Mongolian Armed Forces, and more than 240 international participants from Bangladesh, India, Fiji, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Tonga.
All nations participating in Khaan Quest 2006 will receive Training Recognition from the United Nations in support of the Global Peace Operations Initiative.
"We want all of our Soldiers to interact with soldiers from the other militaries," said Maj. Eric Riley, officer in charge of operations. "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Since arriving at the Five Hills Training Area in Mongolia, Spc. Joel Steinman has been spending time learning the languages of soldiers from other countries.
"This is a good experience, to learn about our allies and get to know them," said Spc. Joel Steinman. "I've already learned how to call for a medic in the Thai language, that's good stuff to know."
"We are very privileged to be here participating in this exercise," Tanguy said. "When our Soldiers get engaged in the global world, it benefits Oregon communities because they bring those cultural learning experiences back with them."
Opening ceremonies to begin the 15-day training exercise will be held on August 11th at the Five Hills Training Area, near Ulaanbataar, Mongolia.
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