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Golden Hanuman military exercise to fire off in Kampot this week

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Nearly 1,600 soldiers will participate in a five-day exercise in Kampot. KT/Mai Vireak

Nearly 1,600 soldiers will participate in a five-day live fire exercise called the Golden Hanuman 2019 in Kampot province this week.

According a statement by Defence Ministry spokesman General Chhum Sucheat, the Golden Hanuman will take place at a training ground in Chum Kiri district’s Trapaing Veng commune from Saturday until Wednesday.

“Golden Hanuman 2019 is designed to strengthen the capacity, knowledge and expertise of army officers and soldiers in protecting current and future territorial integrity,” Gen Sucheat said.

Lieutenant General Hun Manet, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of the army, is expected to preside over the opening ceremony on Saturday.

Gen Sucheat said the exercise will include 1,595 soldiers from RCAF infantry, Bodyguard Unit, Air Defence Command, Brigade 70, Special Forces Paratrooper Brigade 911, Engineering Command and Transport Division 90.

Soldiers stand at attention during an exercise last year. KT/Mai Vireak

“Heavy weapons used will include 152mm and 122mm artilleries, 23mm guns, 37mm guns, BM-21 rocket launchers, RM-70 rocket launchers, tanks, armored vehicles, fire trucks, military trucks and helicopters,” he said.

Royal Cambodian Army spokesman Brigadier General Mao Phalla yesterday said it will be RCA’s first drill under Lt Gen Manet’s command.

“It is our military habit. We have no intentions of threatening any group or country,” Brig Gen Phalla said. “We want to test our military abilities and measure the knowledge of the army and their expertise. We also want to compare to previous drills.”

“We will cooperate with the Air Force Command, and most units under the jurisdiction of the RCA will also join us,” he added. “The previous drill was led by RCAF High Command, but this time it will be led by the Royal Cambodian Army.”

Brig Gen Sucheat said over the past decade, Cambodia has held three similar military drills, the first in 2010, the second in 2013 and the third last year.

Last year, the Golden Hanuman took place in Chum Kiri district, where the RCAF used 20 rocket launcher mounted vehicles and 22 artillery guns.

At the time, more than 1,000 soldiers from various divisions, headquarters and units participated in live-fire drills. The RCAF used heavy equipment such as three helicopters, 20 vehicle-mounted BM 21 rocket launchers, artillery, 32 tanks, and 68 trucks.

Defence Minister General Tea Banh lauded last year’s drill because military personnel were able to accurately hit their marks.

“This is to show the capacity and technology which we attained from hard work,” Gen Banh said. “We have the ability to use live-fire if needed.”

Earlier this year, China and Cambodia held the Golden Dragon 2019, a military exercise. Both forces attended the event for 10 days in order to strengthen good cooperation.

Gen Sucheat said people living nearby the training ground should be alert and steer clear of the area.

“All the people who live around the training area in Kampot province’s Chum Kiri district, do not be alarmed by the drills,” he said. “We ask for understanding for any inconvenience.”

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