ADM Phil Davidson
Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command
Khaan Quest Opening
Five Hills Training Area, Mongolia
15 June 2019
As Prepared Remarks
Sain Baina uu.
It is my pleasure to be here today with President Battulga on my first visit to Mongolia. It is an honor to meet you, sir, and I thank you for your warm hospitality.
I would also like to extend a special welcome to the United States Ambassador to Mongolia, Ambassador Klecheski. We appreciate the tireless commitment and faithful support of the U.S. country team.
And to the Chief of the General Staff for the Mongolia Armed Forces, Major General Ganbat, we are thankful to the Mongolian Armed Forces for organizing this outstanding exercise. We – the United States - remain staunchly proud to serve alongside you, facing the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen…It is a great pleasure to be here at the premier Five Hills Training Area to help open the 2019 Khaan Quest Exercise.
Over the past 16 years, Khaan Quest has grown from a small exercise between the United States and Mongolia into a large multilateral exercise of more than 40 nations.
This is amazing growth that should be applauded!
The robust relationship between the United States and Mongolia is based on mutual values and shared interests. It is a partnership that spans three decades and grows stronger every day.
During that time, Mongolia has become well known for developing a peacekeeping and security force that punches well above its weight globally.
Khaan Quest is a symbol of that evolution, on display in front of us today.
Through Mongolia’s global peacekeeping operations - especially over so many years in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is clear that their famous warrior spirit is alive and well in each of their service members.
But Khaan Quest wouldn’t be as successful as it is without the commitment of all the nations participating this year.
In very few venues are the soldiers of more than 40 nations able to train together. I encourage everyone to make the most of this exercise. This indeed is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through Khaan Quest, we endeavor to build partnerships that establish trust between nations. We endeavor to listen to our partners’ needs and find solutions that benefit all of us. Ultimately, we endeavor to learn from each other.
To the troops on parade here today: you look amazing. As some of you prepare to deploy across the globe, we wish you god’s speed and mission success. The reality of your upcoming deployments reinforces the importance and seriousness of this exercise.
As Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan recently said, “The strength of our partnerships is our ability to solve problems.” This exercise is living proof that Mongolia, the United States, and others gathered here today, are well positioned to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
Through exercises such as Khaan Quest, we are all taking actions to advance our shared vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific; an Indo-Pacific that is prosperous and peaceful; an Indo-Pacific where nations are prepared to collectively support each other.
Best of luck to all involved in this year’s exercise!