This week, the U.S. and Cambodian militaries began this year’s iteration of an annual humanitarian aid mission.
Around 80 U.S. troops are in Cambodia for Pacific Angel (PACANGEL) 2016, a humanitarian assistance operation led by the U.S. Pacific Air Forces to promote interoperability between regional militaries and multilateral military and civilian organizations in the Indo Asia-Pacific. PACANGEL usually involves the provision of health services – including dental, optometry, pediatrics, and physical therapy – civil engineering programs, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, as well as subject matter exchanges.
According to a statement released by the U.S. embassy in Cambodia, during this year’s iteration of the Cambodia phase, the U.S. military along with Cambodian counterparts and personnel from Thailand, Vietnam, and Australia, will assist people in Kampot province in several engineering and healthcare projects.
Engineers will work on reconstruction projects for four local schools and two health centers, while medical service providers will conduct health service outreach in two districts. In addition, subject matter exchanges between the U.S. and Cambodian militaries will focus on public health emergencies and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The Cambodia phase of PACANGEL 2016 will last until June 18. This is the fourth such operation being conducted in Cambodia. The first ever PACANGEL in 2008 was designed as a concurrent operation with the Royal Thai Air Force and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, with most of it taking place in Kampong Chhang and Kampong Cham outside of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
PACANGEL missions have gradually become more complex over time. Last year, the Vietnam phase in March was the first ever multilateral operation there, with members of the Cambodian, Singapore, and Thai air forces in addition to the United States.
Since it began in 2007, PACANGEL has improved the lives of tens of thousands of people, the U.S. embassy statement said.