Cambodia will host another round of United States-backed multinational military exercises next year as part of a global initiative designed to boost countries’ peacekeeping capacity, officials from both countries said.
US embassy spokesman Mark Wenig said the event – called Angkor Sentinel 2011 – had been scheduled for May and would be held at the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Peacekeeping Training Centre in Kampong Speu province.
“We are continuing to work with the RCAF to build [peace keeping operations] capacity.
Similar to Angkor Sentinel 10, we are looking at an Angkor Sentinel 11 – also based on peacekeeping capacity development,” he said.
The event follows on from the Angkor Sentinel 2010, a two-week-long exercise which the country hosted in July. Around 1,000 troops from 26 nations participated in the programme, which was described by Prime Minister Hun Sen as a symbol of the strong military ties between the US and Cambodia.
Some of the particulars of next year’s programme – including its cost and exact location – were discussed during an initial planning conference in Phnom Penh yesterday, said Sem Sovanny, director general of the Institute for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance.
Sem Sovanny, who spoke at the conference, did not say how many countries would attend the exercises, but that the Angkor Sentinel 2011 programme would involve command post exercises, in addition to the training of army engineers and medics.
“The Cambodia-USA 2011 exercise is part of the close cooperation between RCAF and the US Army on charity activity and peacekeeping throughout the world,” he said.