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US Trains Cambodian Soldiers for Peacekeeping

US military personnel and nearly 100 Cambodian soldiers were training this week outside Phnom Penh at the site for Cambodia's future peacekeeping training center.

These "peace-support operations" are aimed at training Cambodians to one day take part in UN blue-helmet missions and were held at the Training and Mine Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Center in Udong, north of the capital.

The training will also help the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces operate in tandem with US soldiers and is based on UN guidelines, the US Embassy said in a statement.

"The program will enable RCAF instructors and participants to gain United Nations 'Training Recognition,' allowing them to conduct possible peacekeeping missions worldwide under the Global Peace Operation Initiative, a five-year peace operation capacity-building program managed by the US Department of State to address gaps in international peace support operations," the embassy said. "Additionally, the training will enhance interoperability and professional relationships between US forces and other Asia-Pacific militaries."

"The peacekeeping training is based on UN guidelines and procedures and incorporates what every peacekeeper needs to know about UN peacekeeping tactics, techniques, and procedures," the embassy said. UN peacekeeping requires proficiency in 215 tasks, the embassy said. Of these, 33 of the most common tasks were chosen for Cambodian soldiers and incorporated into six scenarios: checkpoint operations, patrolling, humanitarian aid distribution, guarding fixed sites, convoy operations, and cordon and search.

Current exercises, running June 4 through June 17, were sponsored by RCAF and the US Pacific Command, the military office that oversees operations in the region.