More than a month since completing the Golden Dragon joint military exercises with China, some 2,000 members of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) are set to launch their own drills at a Kampot army training school.
Next month’s exercises, using live ammunition, will take place in the province’s Chumkiri district and is aimed to enhance the Kingdom’s military capabilities.
RCAF infantry spokesman Brigadier General Mao Phalla said the 2019 Golden Hanuman military exercises will be held from May 3-8, aiming to sharpen the skills of Cambodia’s soldiers and hone the military’s competence and efficiency.
“All the units involved have already participated in military training exercises. They will assemble next month to carry out drills and simulations using live ammunition."
“One aim is to show the high standards the RCAF has attained as a result of all the military exercises and training conducted over the past year. The important thing is that, after the exercises, we want to be in a position to evaluate the results in order to reform and improve future training,” Phalla said.
Phalla stressed that the drills were meant only to bolster the Kingdom’s military capability and not as a threat to anybody. The country is enjoying a long period of peace and increased prosperity, he said, and it is normal that the military should conduct additional training exercises.
He said the exercises are held every year and, unlike Golden Dragon, are conducted without the participation of the Chinese army.
RCAF deputy commander-in-chief General Eth Sarath, who led the 2018 Golden Hanuman military exercises, said 1,948 soldiers took part last year.
The week-long drills, held from April 24 to May 30 in the border region between Kampot, Takeo and Kampong Speu provinces, featured armoured vehicles and heavy weapons, including multiple vehicle-mounted rocket launchers.
“We have trained, successfully and with pride, the RCAF to defend our country. After going through this military exercise, our troops have improved their abilities and understanding of counterattack strategies and combat preparation,” Sarath said at last year’s closing ceremony, stressing the need to strengthen the skills of the armed forces and to safeguard territorial integrity.