The 2019 Golden Hanuman live-ammunition military training exercises concluded on Wednesday with the participation of 2,332 soldiers from various units.
The six-day exercises were held from May 3-8 at the Techo Sen Chumkiri Shooting Field in Trapaing Veng commune’s Trapaing Veng village in Kampot province’s Chumkiri district.
The participants came from diverse units – including the Army Institute, the Bodyguard Headquarters, the air force, the Air Defence Headquarters, Information Command, Brigade 70, 911 Special Forces Regiment and Engineering Force Command.
They fired live-ammunition from different weapons and employed vehicles such as nine armoured personnel carriers, nine tanks, ambulances, fire trucks, transport trucks and helicopters.
The 2019 Golden Hanuman exercise was declared open by Lieutenant General Hun Manet, the deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of the army’s infantry.
It was declared closed by Vong Pisen, the commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.
This was the fourth iteration of the Golden Hanuman military exercise – the first of which was held in 2010, the second in 2013 and the third last year.
Ministry of National Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat said the exercises served to improve the troops’ combat capabilities and knowledge and were not meant as a threat to anyone.
Socheat told The Post on Wednesday that this year’s exercise simulated an operation to recapture a base from the enemy. Last year’s exercises, held that March in cooperation with the Chinese military, simulated operations to rescue hostages and launch an attack to seize an enemy base.
He said the exercise received a score of between 80 and 90 per cent from the committee, which was calculated based on three criteria – carrying out operations without casualties; duly complying with orders when carrying out operations; and proper cooperation between the air force and the army during the exercises.
“This time, it was on a whole other level. Many times during training, we saw proper cooperation between the combined forces. Assessing our troops’ capabilities . . . they performed quickly and duly as per the time set. We consider it a vast improvement.”
However, Socheat could not disclose the amount of money spent during the six-day exercise. He was also unsure when the fifth Golden Hanuman exercise would be held.