Mongolia, U.S. Build Friendship during Khaan Quest 2011

Armed forces personnel.
Armed forces personnel.

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia — The Engineering Civic Action Program portion of Exercise Khaan Quest 2011 was completed with a ribbon cutting for the opening of the Ayut Family Hospital in the Khan-Uul district of Ulaanbaatar Aug. 11.

Mongolian and U.S. service members teamed-up to expand an existing health clinic. The addition to the hospital includes eight treatment rooms, a waiting room, a bathroom and a heating system to use during the harsh Mongolian winters.

Mongolian Armed Force’s construction workers teamed up with Marines and sailors from 9th Engineer Support Battalion, III Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, and American soldiers from 643rd Company, 84th Battalion, 30th Brigade, to complete the job.

“I feel great about working with the U.S. forces again, especially since we were building a hospital,” said Sgt. Batbayar Amarbayar, mason and interior specialist, Mongolian Armed Forces. “I’ve been working with the U.S. forces on different projects every year since 2007.”

Amarbayar said this hospital will be beneficial to the community for years to come.

“Building projects like this hospital are especially good for this community because (the community is) mostly below the poverty line, and it will allow them to get quality medical care,” Amarbayar added.

Jonathan S. Addleton, the U.S. ambassador to Mongolia, was present and gave the final words before the facility was opened. “This multinational effort was not only a good example of a humanitarian mission but also of multinational cooperation,” he said. “This type of mission also prepares service members to respond to humanitarian missions overseas.”

Several who helped build the medical facility said they hope it will significantly improve medical care for the surrounding community.

After the dedication of the building was complete, a few local elders shook the hands of everyone they saw in a military uniform.

“As we can all agree, personal health is priceless,” said Maj. Gen. Bayarmagnai, chief of general staff, Mongolian Armed Forces. “We are very grateful for the military and local physicians who aided the people of this area,” he added.