NEWS | Aug. 8, 2017

Exercise Khaan Quest 2017 Caps off with Conclusive Closing Ceremony

By Spc. Michael Risinger U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA -- Exercise Khaan Quest 2017 concluded with a closing ceremony at Five Hills Training Area near Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Aug. 5, 2017.

“I’m pleased that Khaan Quest 2017 multinational peace support operations exercise, organized in our country, has fulfilled its collaborative commitment and goals with success,” said J. Badambazar, deputy chief of the general staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces.

For the past two weeks, Mongolian Armed Forces hosted more than 26 nations, and more than 1,200 participants for the peacekeeping exercise, now in its 15th iteration. Khaan Quest is a regularly scheduled, multinational exercise co-sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and hosted annually by the Mongolian Armed Forces.

“At its inception, Khaan Quest began as a bilateral training event between Mongolia and the United States,” said Lt. Gen. Bryan P. Fenton, deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Command. “Now, 15 years later, Khaan Quest has grown into a premier peacekeeping exercise involving dozens of nations from around the world.”

The purpose of Khaan Quest is for participants to gain United Nations training and certification through the conduct of realistic peace support operations, to include increasing and improving U.N. peacekeeping operations, multinational interoperability and military relationships among the participating nations.

Khaan Quest 2017 consisted of a U.N. peacekeeping operations command post exercise, field training exercise and field training event, each of which focused on U.N. and international peacekeeping and stability operations.

“The exercise was a tremendous benefit for all the nations that participated,” said U.S. Marine Col. Keith Fuller, a Khaan Quest 2017 co-director, attached with Marine Forces Pacific. “The nations were able to experience 11 different training lanes, which allowed them to experience all the potential challenges that they would confront in a peacekeeping mission.”

MARFORPAC was the executive agent for the exercise and provided command and control for all Khaan Quest 2017 activities.

Fenton emphasized the importance of Khaan Quest training. “It’s important to recognize that security and stability in this region doesn’t just happen on its own,” said Fenton. “It happens in places like this, with like minded nations who are committed to working together to maintain security and stability in order to advance peace and prosperity. This type of event is what makes it possible.”

To conclude the ceremony, Badambazar gave good wishes to all of the service members in attendance.

“May your friendships, which you built as fellow peacekeepers with blue helmets in our beautiful country, last forever,” said Badambazar.

Approximately 250 U.S. personnel and 600 MAF personnel participated in Khaan Quest 2017, along with approximately 300 personnel from various other nations.