At end of training, Marines say Mongols ready for duty in Iraq
September 25, 2003
U.S. Marines put Mongolian Armed Forces to the test last week during the final training phase of Khaan Quest ’03 in Five Hills, Mongolia.
First Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment Marines set up a simulated logistics base for Mongolian forces to run from Sept. 13-15, according to a Marine Corps news release. They were also put through a mobility exercise to prepare for a February deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“We have specifically been showing the Mongolians how to do vehicle checkpoints and personnel checkpoints,” battalion operations chief Master Sgt. Robert Lowery said in the release. “We have shown them how to establish a checkpoint, set up a checkpoint and how to conduct a checkpoint.”
Mongolian forces were subsequently given a chance to demonstrate what they had learned during the three days of field practice.
“It was obvious that [the Mongolians] paid attention during the classroom portion,” Lowery said in the release. “They went from A to Z in a short period of time. And within that period of time, they excelled at what they did.
“Everything we taught them, they would practice on their own and the last day, when we had our exercises, they handled themselves very well. In my professional opinion, once they get on the ground [in Iraq], they will be able to conduct themselves as a professional army.”
In their training, Mongolian forces ran into roadblocks and ambushes, exercise officer-in-charge Maj. John Osborne Jr. said in the release. He added the challenges tested their ability to work as a team.
“The mobility exercise is meant to draw several of the training aspects together as far as command and control, and units supporting each other,” Osborne said in the release.
Mongolian troops also took an embarkation class as well as a C-130 familiarization flight.
Staff Sgt. Marylyn Sabol, 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group embarkation specialist, taught the class, which included general C-130 characteristics, the release said. She then showed Mongolian forces a generic load plan and demonstrated how to build an Air Force pallet for embarkation.
“The first group that went was very limited on the training they received,” she said in the release. “I was only able to train them as I was doing the embarking. This second group was able to get physical training, and they are picking it up so fast. They will be able to do it 100 percent without our help next time.”