Wednesday, November 28, 2007

United States Marines Visit Cambodia

By Jane Patrick According to the U.S. Marines, there was a planned port visit to Cambodia for members of the U.S. Navy and Marines. Members of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Command Amphibious Squadron 11 and USS Essex arrived in port recently. Cambodia is located next to Thailand and Viet Nam, and due to its location near the equator, is actually in the tropics.

The purpose of the visit was to give dental and medical care to citizens of Cambodia that do not normally have access to a doctor. They were also there to work on engineering projects, work with youth, deliver supplies, and talk with officials. Over 2,500 military personnel showed up for the event, and supplies such as clothes, toys, and books were brought in to help out.

"Over the course of the next week, Marines and Sailors coming from the Essex will conduct two medical and dental clinics, build two bridges and participate in six community relations projects," said Colonel John Mayer, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit commanding officer. "We will also (teach at) the National Defense University to help students with English and to understand our military forces."

The military members that are located in Cambodia have been given a budget for their work in the amount of $26,000 for building material, $2,000 for community events, and $10,000 for medical needs.

Military leaders and Government official talked and discussed the possibilities that could come from the goodwill of this visit.

The Cambodian U.S. Embassy deputy chief of mission, Piper Campbell, mentioned how this one visit would encourage a deeper friendship with the U.S. that will get stronger with more visits.

One of the pluses of the visit is that Cambodian citizens will have the opportunity to meet with the U.S. soldiers and get to know them better as people.

Campbell thanked the governor of Sihanoukville and the Government as a whole for helping to make this event happen, and Colonel John Mayer said he was grateful to be given the chance to come to the area.

"On behalf of all the Marines and Sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, I would like to thank each and every one of you for having our Marines and Sailors visit the Kingdom of Cambodia," said Mayer, to members of the Royal Government of Cambodia, during a visit to the Essex

Mayer went on to mention that the troops were eager to visit the area and see the opportunity that lies before them.

The Cambodia Theater Security Cooperation was set up to create better relations between the Cambodian people and the U.S.

31st MEU, USS Essex Marines, Sailors arrive in Cambodia to foster relations, U.S. Marines

Geography-Cambodia, Tourism of Cambodia

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