|Working together for Peace - Exercise Shanti Doot-2
The country is plagued with regional instability, a history of territorial disputes and ethnic unrest. The United Nations issued a mandate for peace operations to commence. This is the fictional subcontinent of Pacifica, the stage for Exercise Shanti Doot-2 (Ambassador of Peace), a peace support operations exercise being conducted in the capitol Dhaka, Bangladesh and at the Bangladesh Institute for Peace Support Operations (BIPSOT), 30 miles north of the Dhaka.
Around 120 military and civil personnel from 16 countries are participating in the Command Post Exercise, while more than 400 soldiers from 10 countries converged on BIPSOT for the field training exercise. The training is being conducted under the auspices of the framework for Global Peace Operations Initiative Program, initiated by President Bush in April 2004.
The exercise is hosted by the Bangladesh Armed Forces, is sponsored by the United States Pacific Command with command and control provided by the Oregon National Guard.
Eight members of the Oregon National Guard, from both the ground and air components, deployed to Bangladesh for the three-week long exercise, which commenced Apr. 2. The team, led by Lt. Col. Edward Tanguy, Commander of the 249th Regional Training Institute, Monmouth, Ore., is providing overall control and management for the field exercise.
"Bangladesh is ideally suited to host peacekeeping training due to its broad experience and the importance the nation places on peace support operations," said Tanguy.
Bangladesh has proven its expertise as an effective peacekeeping country through its participation in various United Nations Peacekeeping Support Operations for more than a decade, according to Maj. Shajala Haider, Public Relations Officer for BIPSOT.
"It's our role in being duly recognized and appreciated by the UN and other international agencies to train professional peacekeepers from around the globe," said Haider.
At the field training exercise, soldiers from Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India,Indonesia, South Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, USA and Tonga rotated through six modules comprising of instruction, observation and hands-on training focused on the 33 most common United Nations peacekeeping tasks.
"This 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 protocols," said Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Jacques, with the Oregon Army National Guard.
"We are developing the core competencies needed to execute UN peacekeeping operations," added Tanguy. "Our goal is to enhance the readiness and interoperability of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, the U.S. Army, and other multinational participant forces."
To ensure the training matches conditions that participants are likely to encounter on real peacekeeping missions, the Bangladesh Armed Forces provided UN-type vehicles for all the scenarios, constructed fixed UN checkpoints that each country's platoons had to occupy and operate, and hired local civilians to portray a variety of roles.
"Realistic training in realistic situations ensures these forces are ready for whatever peacekeeping mission they may encounter," said Tanguy.
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 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 in today's military environment."
The Oregon Guard is especially suited for this exercise due to its successful prior UN command and control experience. In 2006, the Oregon National Guard provided similar support for Exercise Khan Quest in Mongolia.
"We are working towards enhancing regional capacity for peacekeeping operations, improving bilateral agreements between Pacific-rim countries, promoting professional relationships and good will, all while demonstrating U.S. resolve to support the security interests of regional allies," said Tanguy.
"All participants learned a great deal about the conduct of peace support operations and, as a result, the region has gained a trained group of personnel ready to undertake the responsibilities of helping countries in need," Tanguy concluded.
1Lt Michael Odle, Public Affairs Officer
Exercise Shanti Doot-2
Mrs. Kay Fristad, Deputy Public Affairs Officer
Oregon National Guard