Cambodian Navy personnel are preparing to hold joint exercises with counterparts from the United States next month, an official said yesterday.
Mey Dina, deputy commander and chief of staff of the Royal Cambodian Armed Force’s Navy, said about 200 officers from both countries would begin the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercises on November 2.
The exercises will involve crew from the US naval ship Millinocket, which is due to dock at Sihanoukville on October 30, though the vessel itself won’t be used.
According to the US Navy, the Millinocket belongs to a class of ships designed to quickly move soldiers and material into and out of difficult areas. In addition to military applications, it is also well suited for noncombat missions such as evacuations and disaster relief operations.
Dina yesterday said that next month’s training would include live-fire exercises using Cambodian vessels and cover counterterrorism, hostage rescue, natural disaster response, medical treatment and ship maintenance.
“We have asked the fishermen and local people to avoid entering the exercise area in order to avoid any danger,” Dina said. “The exercise is to help with ideas and experiences for improving the bilateral cooperation of the two countries.”
However, US Embassy spokesman Jay Raman denied there would be live-fire exercises.
Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat said Cambodia valued its military cooperation with all partners, adding there was no discrimination between the US, China, Japan and other countries.