More than 40 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Peacekeeping Operations Interim participated in a convoy escort simulation May 24, as part of the annual, multinational peacekeeping exercise, KhaanQuest 2016 in Mongolia.
The course was designed to reshape the protocol of how armed forces deal with locals while on deployment or participating in U.N. missions. It also introduces new tactics, tailored to achieve the Global Peace Operations Initiative program’s goal through peacekeeping.
“It is a challenge in a peacekeeping mission when you have platoons that have done missions that are very different,” said Staff Sgt. Richard Murphy, a convoy escort instructor from the Alaska National Guard. “It’s quite the balancing act, between being tactical and peacekeeping. They almost have to unlearn everything that they have learned in the past.”
Six different scenarios were set in place in front of the Philippine platoon: meeting Non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives requesting assistance, an ambush, negotiating with Mongolian locals to pass through a checkpoint, delivering the NGO’s package, navigating through civil unrest, and what protocols to take when encountering an improvised explosive device. Each scenario tested the soldiers’ ability to apply the skills they learned in the classroom to execution in a field simulation.
“I think the training went okay, however there are some points to learn,” said Maj. Pablo Masa-ad, the platoon leader for the Armed Forces of the Philippines Peacekeeping Operations Interim. “We thought we knew everything but when you actually simulate and execute new tactics, unexpected events happen. We learned how to adapt to the situation and complete the mission.”
Convoy escort is one of 11 simulations designed to enhance tactical and combat capabilities of participating uniformed services during Khaan Quest 2016.
“The goal for each course is to increase interoperability between our partners and allies,” said Capt. B. Munkhbayar, of the Mongolian Armed Forces and senior instructor of the convoy escort course. “Our training will benefit us when we deploy and when we have to work together during U.N. missions.”
Khaan Quest 2016 is an annual, multinational peacekeeping operations exercise hosted by the Mongolian Armed Forces, co-sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command, and supported by U.S. Army Pacific and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. Khaan Quest, in its 14th iteration, is the capstone exercise for this year’s Global Peace Operations Initiative program. The exercise focuses on training activities to enhance international interoperability, develop peacekeeping capabilities, build to mil-to-mil relationships, and enhance military readiness.