Nepal | December 13, 2019

US commander arrives, multinational drill from Monday

THT Online

KATHMANDU: United States Pacific Command (USPACOM)’s Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr arrived here in the capital on Sunday to take part in a multinational military drill for peacekeeping, Nepal Army said.

Exercise Shanti Prayas III is kicking off at the Nepal Army’s Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre tomorrow with participation of 1024 army personnel from 28 countries.

Admiral Harris was received by Lt Gen Purna Chandra Thapa at the Tribhuvan International Airport.

Nepal Army and UPSACOM are jointly organising the multinational military exercise which aims at enhancing peacekeeping capabilities prior to being deployed for peacekeeping missions under the United Nations, the Nepal Army’s Directorate of Public Relations said.

The third edition of Exercise Shanti Prayas, which serves as US Pacific Command’s annual capstone for the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) programme, will conclude on April 3.

Nepal Army Lt Gen Purna Chandra Thapa (R) receives USPACOM Admiral Harris at TIA. Photo: Nepal Army

Army personnel Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Fiji, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vietnam and Zambia were invited to take part in the exercise, according to UPSACOM.

“The exercise will enhance global interoperability and develop common tactics, techniques and procedures required to effectively support real-world UN peacekeeping operations,” Admiral Harris Jr. has been quoted as saying in US Army’s DVIDS report.

Saying the Nepal-US relationship is strong and continues to grow, the US Navy commander added, “And the training we are conducting at the Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre in Nepal is a testament to our shared commitment to enhancing global peacekeeping operations and the enforcement of UN mandates.”

Nepal Army’s Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre at Panchkhal. Photo: Nepal Army

The US commander is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat and Defence Minister Bal Krishna Khand during his three-day Nepal stay.

Lankan army chief returns 

Meanwhile, the visiting chief of Sri Lankan army, Lieutenant General AWJ Crishanthe De Silva, wrapped up his Nepal visit and returned home.

Major General Binod Kumar Shrestha saw off him at the TIA earlier today.


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