NEWS | March 15, 2016

Indo-Asian Partners Gather for Inaugural Port Opening Exercise in Cambodia

By Master Sgt. Mary Ferguson

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Joint, interagency and multinational sustainment experts gathered here March 14 for Angkor Opening 2016, a weeklong exchange and table top exercise designed to build partnerships, interoperability and readiness in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) port opening operations.

The exercise, hosted by the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and sponsored by the 8th Theater Sustainment Command and the Cambodian National Committee for Maritime Safety (NCMS), is the first exchange of its kind between the organizations.

“This important exercise provides the perfect venue and atmosphere for us to join together to improve our collective readiness when it comes to HA/DR response efforts,” said Maj. Gen. Edward F. Dorman III, 8th TSC commander.

The U.S. contingent of participants includes experts from U.S. Transportation Command, 8th TSC, 130th Theater Engineer Brigade, 9th Mission Support Command, 593rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), 7th Transportation Battalion (Expeditionary), 413th Contracting Support Brigade, Army divers, and a U.S. Navy Underwater Construction Team.

During the table top exercise, a HA/DR scenario will trigger NCMS planning for port opening operations at both fixed port and bare beach locations, creating a critical need for synchronized cooperation of participants expertise and capabilities.

Angkor Opening 16 will also feature an industry event welcoming industry representatives and encouraging increased communication and understanding between industry and military partners in the region, and a military diver academic expert exchange at Cambodia’s Sihanoukville Port to provide a cooperative understanding of partner nations military diver capabilities and missions.

Dorman said the opportunities for exchange and rehearsing HA/DR-driven port opening capabilities lay the foundation for future exchanges and sets the conditions for further partnership with joint, interagency and multinational teammates.

“Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief are priorities for both of our countries, and as we operate together in this complex, ever-changing region, the future and growth of exercises like this one are critical to our regional stability and security,” he said.