PHNOM PENH - Joint military exercises between Cambodian and US forces began Thursday morning, the first of four days at training center outside Phnom Penh.
The Angkor Sentinel exercises, held at the National Training Center for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces in Kampong Speu province, is the fourth to be held since 2010.
More than 300 Cambodian troops will take part in the training, which aims at improving their capability to take part in UN peacekeeping operations.
Moeung Samphan, secretary of state for the Ministry of Defense, said the training would further strengthen military ties between Cambodia and the US.
“This training is really appreciated, and significant for building and strengthening Cambodia’s military capacity to have professional skills, knowledge and real practice to effectively respond to the UN peacekeeping missions,” he said.
Exercises will be held at the command post and field training levels, including in the use of equipment to counter improvised explosive devices, officials said.
Jeff Daigle, deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy, said the exercises would put together Cambodian peacekeepers who are ready to be deployed in the field with US military personnel with extensive operational experience.
“This type of exercise is really important for helping the capability of the Cambodians for them to deploy,” he said. Cambodia has already made significant contributions to UN peacekeeping efforts outside of Cambodia, and the Angkor Sentinel exercises will help the continue to do so, he said. “And the American side is learning, as well,” he said.