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NEWS | June 20, 2023

Exercise Khaan Quest 23 begins in Mongolia

By Sgt. Teresa Cantero

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) joined with soldiers from across the Pacific region for a momentous occasion—the opening ceremony of Khaan Quest 23, June 19, at the Five Hills Training Facility outside Ulaanbaatar.   

KQ23 will focus on a Command Post Exercise (CPX), but the exercise will also include a Critical Enabler’s Capability Enhancement (2CE) and a Field Training Exercise (FTX); All elements of KQ23 are focused on peacekeeping and stability operations and involve Mongolian, U.S. and multinational forces working jointly to increase interoperability and readiness for the peacekeeping mission set. 

“The importance of Khaan Quest stems from its purpose.  It is a peacekeeping exercise. It serves to prepare participants for UN peacekeeping missions. It also develops peace support operations capabilities and interoperability,” said Maj. Gen. Chris Smith, Deputy Commanding General of USARPAC.  

“This exercise is not only a great opportunity to exchange lessons and techniques, it is also an expression of the commitment of the participating nations to the charter of the United Nations.  A key part of that charter is to maintain international peace and security. Peacekeeping still serves an essential purpose around the world.”  he added.

The Mongolian Armed Forces invited military personnel from other countries to participate, currently there are 26 countries participating in this year’s KQ23.

"Mongolia always pursues a peace-loving, open, independent, and multi-pillar foreign policy. The exercise has been making a significant contribution to increasing the peace support capacity of participating countries and strengthening their friendship and military trust," said President U. Khürelsükh, president of Mongolia and commander-in-chief of the MAF, at the opening ceremony. 

The 14-day event is a regularly scheduled, multinational exercise co-sponsored by the U.S. Army Pacific Command and hosted annually by the Mongolian Armed Forces. KQ23 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises designed to promote regional peace and security. This year’s exercise marks the 20th anniversary of this training event.