Bangladesh increases capacity to train UN peacekeepers
Bangladesh has further enhanced its capacity to effectively train peacekeepers and conduct United Nations and regional peace support operations.
A new multipurpose training facility at the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT) in Gazipur was inaugurated yesterday in support of the US State Department's Global Peace Operations Initiative or GPOI programme.
Visiting Commander of United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) Admiral Harry B Harris Jr, Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq and US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat attended the inaugural ceremony.
The new $3.6 million multipurpose training facility provides the BIPSOT with a 750 seat auditorium and additional training rooms, and was part of nearly $5 million in US government assistance allocated to enhance Bangladesh's capacity to effectively train and conduct United Nations and regional peace support operations, said the US embassy.
The BIPSOT will be the site for the Bangladesh Army and USPACOM co-sponsored Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise Shanti-Doot 4, scheduled to begin late February into early March of next year.
The exercise is designed to increase participants' interoperability and peacekeeping skills prior to deployment of UN missions.
The year 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of Bangladesh's entry into UN Peacekeeping and Bangladesh is currently the fourth highest contributing nation with more than 6,900 troops and police serving in 13 UN peacekeeping operations.
Bernicat said the contributions of Bangladeshi peacekeepers have proven that, as in so many other spheres, Bangladesh's military continues to contribute immensely to global peace.
“Today, to pay homage to the brave men and women who have served Bangladesh and the world, and to honor the fruits of our bilateral partnership, I'm privileged to introduce Admiral Harry B Harris today,” she said.
The US envoy said Admiral Harris has a long and distinguished career in service to the United States, starting with his graduation from the US Naval Academy in 1978.
The US Admiral who arrived in Dhaka on Saturday morning, met with senior government and military officials to discuss a range of regional topics.
USPACOM's area of responsibility encompasses about half the earth's surface, stretching from the waters off the west coast of the US to the western border of India, and from Antarctica to the North Pole.
Admiral Harris is the senior US military authority in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and reports to the president of the United States through the Secretary of Defence.