Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
Press Release
April 04, 2008
Oregon Guard Contingent Travels to Bangladesh
Oregon National Guard citizen soldiers deployed to Bangladesh Sunday in support of a bilateral exercise with 12 nations

By 1st Lt. Mike Odle
Oregon National Guard Public Affairs

DHAKA, Bangladesh - Eight members of the Oregon National Guard are deployed to the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to participate in a three-week long Exercise Shanti Doot, which commenced Apr. 2.

The team, comprising both Army and Air National Guard members, will join over 600 soldiers from 12 countries. The exercise is designed to enhance regional capacity for peacekeeping operations, improve bilateral operations between Pacific-rim countries, promote professional relationships and good will, all while demonstrating U.S. resolve in support of the security interests of regional allies.

The Oregon Guard team will provide command and control in Exercise Shanti Doot. The exercise involves a wide range of operational skills and tasks, including checkpoint operations, patrolling, security of distribution sites, convoy operations, cordon and search and disarmament following United Nations (UN) protocol.

"We are practicing the core competencies needed to execute UN peacekeeping operations," said Lt. Col. Edward Tanguy, Commander, 249th Regional Training Institute and field training exercise commander for Shanti Doot. "Our goal is to enhance the readiness and interoperability of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, the U.S. Army, and other multinational participant forces."

The National Guard is considered to be the ideal choice for conducting UN peacekeeping training because of its dual federal and state mission and civilian professional experience.

"We bring a unique skill-set as Guardsmen," said Tanguy. "From natural disaster response to peacekeeping to combat operations on the battlefield, there is no other organization that can muster such diverse capabilities to today's military environment."

The Oregon Guard is especially suited for this exercise due to its successful prior UN training experience. In 2006, the Oregon National Guard provided command and control for Exercise Khan Quest in Mongolia.

"Exercises and military-to-military contacts are the building blocks of partnership and friendship," said Tanguy.

From a soldier's perspective, the exercise is also a great opportunity for members of the Oregon National Guard to acquire a global perspective, expand cultural awareness and understand the nuances of cross-cultural communications.

The countries participating in this exercise are Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Mongolia, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, USA and Tonga.

"It is my hope that when we leave here all 12 nations will be successfully trained in UN peacekeeping standards and our Oregon contingent will also return with an appreciation for cultural insight and friendship between the participating nations," Tanguy concluded.

Bangladesh is a predominately Sunni-Muslim nation located in south Asia, bordering both India and Myanmar. Despite being one of the poorest and most densely populated nations in the world, it is a significant contributor to international peace operations worldwide. Exercise Shanti Doot, which means Ambassador of Peace in Bengali, is held at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training. Additional information can be found at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training's website at www.bipsot.net/index.html.

Over the coming years, the Oregon Air National Guard will further develop military to military relations with Bangladesh under the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program.
Contact Info:
Maj. Mike Braibish
503.584.3886 or 503.932.5805