Gen. CQ Brown Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, met with senior leaders from Mongolia and the United States, to seek opportunities to enhance cooperation and partnership with the Mongolian Air Force Command. Throughout the two-day visit, Brown met with key defence and military leadership, to include Minister Nyamaa, MAF chief of General Staff, Maj. Gen. Ganbat Ayush, MAFC commander, Brig. Gen. Enkhbayar Ochir, as well as U.S. Ambassador Michael Klecheski and members of the U.S. Embassy.
Though Mongolia has a history of military aviation capability, the MAFC only recently reestablished in January 2017, making Brown’s visit not only his first time in the country, but also the first for a PACAF commander since the MAFC’s establishment.
Developing an air force has been one of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s long-term priorities for greater engagement with Mongolia and part of the command’s overall goal to assist the Mongolian Armed Forces in pursuing defence reform priorities.
As such, the visit builds upon a number of frequent engagements between the two nations, to include Defence Minister Enkhbold Nyamaa’s visit with Acting Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan in April in Washington, D.C., and the inaugural Airman-to-Airman talks hosted at PACAF Headquarters at Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam, Hawaii, in March.
In Mongolian tradition and showcasing the importance of horses to their culture, Brown had the honour of receiving a horse to be named by him, and to remain in-country to exemplify the enduring relationship. In tribute to his home state of Texas and the state from which he now serves, Hawaii, the general named the young horse, “Lone Star Koa.” Koa is Hawaiian for warrior.
In addition to the long-standing relationship of supporting missions in Afghanistan and the United Nations peacekeeping operations, other examples of the bilateral relationship include the strong bonds between the Alaska Air National Guard through the State Partnership Programme as well as participation and observation in a number of multilateral events and exercises throughout the region.
Additionally, in 2018, the first Mongolian cadet entered the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the first MAFC officer completed U.S. pilot training.
In late July, early August, Mongolia will cohost a Pacific Angel humanitarian event, part of a three-part series of humanitarian assistance and civil military assistance events held annually around the Indo-Pacific region.
Brown also provided an invitation for the MAFC to attend the Indo-Pacific Safety Air in August in Hawaii. He is scheduled to host MAFC leadership, alongside many other partner nations, at the next Pacific Air Chiefs Symposium at PACAF in December.
In June, the MAF and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command will co-host the annual Khaan Quest multilateral peacekeeping exercise in Mongolia, considered the cornerstone of the defense cooperation between the two nations. More than 1,700 military members are expected to take part in various exercises between June 14-28, to include an appearance from INDOPACOM leadership.