By Pfc. Karina Paraoan, 134th Public Affairs Detachment, Alaska National GuardAugust 25, 2010
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia - Service members with the U.S. Military, Mongolian Armed Forces and exercise observers from other countries gathered for a dedication ceremony and closing ceremony of Khaan Quest 2010 in Mongolia Aug. 20.
The dedication ceremony for the humanitarian and civic assistance project was held in Ulaanbaatar to celebrate the completion of a public bath house built by service members of the 797th Engineer Company (Vertical), U.S. Army Reserves from Barrigada, Guam, and Mongolian Armed Forces.
The event began with performances of the Mongolian Armed Forces band and traditional Mongolian music sung by members of the Mongolian Armed forces. Local residents gathered and listened to speeches given by Brig. Gen. John Seward, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific, and Lt. Gen. Gerendejid Byambajar, chief of General Staff, Mongolian Armed Forces.
The distinguished guests ended the ceremony with a ribbon cutting, symbolizing the opening of the new public bath house for the local residents of the surrounding area.
"I personally created the design of this bath house and I'm very pleased with the outcome," said Col. Tumun Batbayar, civil engineer, Mongolian Armed Forces. "I hope we can expand the project so that we can bring more bath houses to remote areas."
Following the dedication ceremony was a closing ceremony for the 2010 Khaan Quest exercise at Five Hills Training Area, which also included distinguished guests from U.S. Army Pacific Command and countries in the surrounding area.
"I believe that this exercise went wonderfully," said Alaska National Guard Col. Keith Kurber, the U.S. exercise director of Khaan Quest 2010. "This was very good training for both the U.S. and Mongolian service members."
To end the ceremony, members of the U.S. military and Mongolian Armed Forces marched across the parade field to honor distinguished guests.
"This experience has been great," said Pfc. Matthew Blanchett, 297th Long Range Surveillance Co., Alaska National Guard. "It was very unique and extraordinary training to work with the Mongolian soldiers."
Khaan Quest 2010 is a bilateral training exercise supporting peace support operations, co-sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific and the Mongolian Armed Forces. U.S. participants during this eighth iteration of the annual exercise included more than 40 Alaska National Guardsmen, 20 U.S. Reservists from Guam, and members of the Washington National Guard.
The medical exercise of Khaan Quest 2010 is scheduled to conclude Aug. 25.