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Cambodia exercise focuses on disaster relief, humanitarian aid

U.S. and Cambodian forces officially opened Angkor Sentinel 2016, an annual bilateral military exercise hosted by the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific, during a ceremony March 14, 2016, at the Training School for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces in Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia. This year marks the seventh iteration of the exercise that's designed to strengthen humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities and improve military-to-military cooperation.

MARY FERGUSON/U.S. ARMY PHOTO

By AARON KIDD | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 16, 2016

U.S forces are in Southeast Asia for Angkor Sentinel 2016, an annual bilateral exercise with Cambodia that focuses on disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

The drills — sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific and hosted by the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces — kicked off earlier this week with a ceremony at the Training School for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces in Kampong Speu Province near Phnom Penh, an Army statement said. Angkor Sentinel is scheduled to wrap up March 25 with a “combined situational training event.”

The exercise showcases some of the best things militaries can accomplish for their nations and citizens, Julie Chung, chargé d’affaires for U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, said in the statement.

“Angkor Sentinel’s activities will include training and exchanges covering humanitarian assistance, disaster response, first aid, engineering, explosive ordnance disposal, countering improvised explosive devices, transporting people and supplies, and developing leaders,” she said. “Any country, including both Cambodia and the United States, will be a better, safer place to live [when] military people … are skilled in those functions.”

U.S. participants include 8th Theater Sustainment Command, 130th Theater Engineer Brigade, 8th Military Police Brigade, 303rd Explosive Ordnance Battalion, Idaho Army National Guard, 18th Medical Command, Asia Pacific C-IED Fusion Center and 413th Contracting Brigade.

Maj. Gen. Edward Dorman III, commander of 8th Theater Sustainment Command, highlighted Angkor Sentinel’s importance during the opening ceremony.

“Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief are priorities for both of our countries, and as we operate together in this complex, ever-changing region, exercises like this one are critical to our regional stability and security,” he said in the statement. “When we join together, train together and grow together now, we ensure that we are prepared together for whatever the future may bring.”

U.S. forces also travel to Cambodia each year for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, a five-month series of separate exercises with several Southeast Asian nations that feature a wide range of naval operations, including surface, undersea, aviation and amphibious warfare.

The Cambodian leg of this year’s CARAT will take place in November.

kidd.aaron@stripes.com

Twitter: @kiddaaron

Julie Chung, left to right, of the U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, Lt. Gen. Chea Saran, of the Royal Cambodian Army, and Maj. Gen. Edward Dorman III, commander of 8th Theater Sustainment Command, sit at the head table during a ceremony to kick off Angkor Sentinel 2016, Monday, March 14, 2016, in Cambodia.
MARY FERGUSON/U.S. ARMY PHOTO

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