FIVE HILLS TRAINING AREA, Mongolia – U.S. Marines and Mongolian Armed Forces service members were back for the start of another training exercise Aug. 17, only a couple days after the closing ceremony for the multinational peacekeeping exercise Khaan Quest 2013.
This time around, they were joined by officers from the Mongolian General Police.
A joint-combined team of about 170 military and police personnel kicked off the Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES), a regularly scheduled field training exercise and leadership seminar, taking place at Five Hills Training and Ulaanbaatar through Aug. 28.
Mongolia, a regular participant, also hosted NOLES in 2007 and 2010. Now in its 12th iteration, the exercise is designed to promote awareness and effective use of non-lethal weapons.
“We need to understand that future conflicts will mandate that battlefield commanders have a thorough understanding of non-lethal weapons, their tactics, and how to employ them,” said 1st Lt. Ryan Trunk, a training officer with Law Enforcement Battalion, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group and officer-in-charge of the U.S. Marine training detachment participating in the exercise.
Mongolian Armed Forces have significant experience in peacekeeping operations, to include deployments to South Sudan, Sierra Leone and the Balkans, as well as to coalition operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Trunk, from Brookline, Mass., said that gaining experience with non-lethal weapons will only assist in their peace support efforts around the world.
“Over the next 10 days, we look forward to training you, learning from you, sharing experiences, and making friends,” he said.
Mongolian Armed Forces Lt. Col. J. Molorbold, senior staff officer for the MAF’s Peace Support Operations Department and exercise director, thanked the 15 Marines from LE Battalion for their participation as trainers and assistant trainers.
“I hope that you guys have a great time, and take care of my soldiers,” Molorbold said, emphasizing the importance of safety throughout the exercise.
Trunk stressed that safety when dealing with NLW’s is always the top priority, but did so without sugar-coating the intensity of the days to come.
“The training – at times – is going to be painful, it’s going to be extremely difficult, but at the end I can guarantee you that it’s going to be well worth it,” said Trunk.
The two-part, non-lethal weapons FTX and seminar is sponsored by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, and hosted annually by nations throughout Asia-Pacific.
Read more about NOLES and see more photos at the following links: