Monday, August 22, 2005
That's right Jason, Mongolia. The fiercest fighters on earth, aside from the Gurkhas.
By Jim GaramoneAmerican Forces Press Service
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia, Jan. 13, 2004 – Mongolia is a small country with a powerful warrior tradition. But today, the country consciously is tying its reputation to peacekeeping, and Mongolia's latest area of operations is Iraq.
Maj. Gen. T. Togoo, chief of the Mongolian army general staff, greets Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Jan. 13. Myers is the first Joint Chiefs chairman to visit Mongolia.
Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Mongolia today to speak with national and defense leaders and to meet with soldiers who are getting ready to go to Iraq. He thanked the Mongolian leaders for their support in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and he said the Mongolian people "should be very proud of the professionalism and discipline of their forces in Iraq."
The last time Mongolian soldiers were in Iraq was in 1258. They destroyed Baghdad then. Now, the Mongolian military has 173 soldiers of the 150th Elite Peacekeeping Battalion in Hillah, Iraq. All reports, said Myers, are that the unit is doing an excellent job as part of the Multinational Division Central- South. The division is commanded by a Polish general and contains troops from a number of different nationalities. Myers said the Mongolian unit's members have proven themselves as infantrymen, as convoy escorts, as engineers and in providing medical assistance to the Iraqi people.
Mongolia is a large country geographically; it is about the size of Alaska. But it's small in population, with about 2.5 million people. The country is located between Russia and China, and until 1991 had close relations with the Soviet Union. Modern Mongolia dates to just after World War I.