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Mongolia Army - General Purpose Troops

In the distant past the Mongols were warlike people. Such nature of nomadic tribes was born of the objective conditions of their everyday life: the struggle for the best pasture for the stock, for protection for their families, for leadership and finally armed struggle or war against alien nationalities. The Mongols taught their children to ride horses from the age of nree, and made bows and arrows matching their age. In 4th-2nd centuries BC the Huns had a strong military- administrative structure and a powerful army of cavalry, with heavy armor for both horses and horsemen.

This military-administrative system was later used by Chinggis Khaan when he founded the unified Mongol Empire. The military establishment of the Mongols under Chinggis Khaan and their military tactics in combat operations have left a noticeable trace in the history of the development of military science in many countries. The young army of the Modern Mongolia was first baptized on 18 March 1921 in the battle to liberate the frontier town of Maimaachin / now Altanbulag/ from occupation by Chinese troops. Since that time, 18 March has been celebrated annually as the of the Mongolian People's Army. By the early 1930, the People's Revolutionary troops were reorganized into a regular army, consisting of cavalry, artillery, aviation and armoured brigades.

The joint victory of the Mongolian and Soviet troops in the four-months battle against the Japanese in the Khalkhyn Gol region in 1939 was a serious lesson for the aggressors on the eve of World War II. During World War II the Mongolian army, together with Soviet army groups, fulfilled the role of a covering force in the east. Four divisions and other formations of the MPA took part in liberating north-east China and number of regions of Inner Mongolia from the Japanese invaders.

At present Mongolia's armed forces have become more compact and professional since obligatory military service was replaced with the alternative between military and other service. The general purpose troops, a core of the armed forces, are the main force to defend the country by military means. In peacetime, the general purpose troops direct their activities toward ensuring the mobilization readiness of the Mongolian Armed Forces, providing military training for the population, forming personnel resources, and organizing the maintenance, protection and servicing of military equipment and material reserves. Depending on the organizational specifics of military units and organizations, the general purpose troops are divided into combat, on-combat-duty, training, training combat, and stockpile and service units.

As a result of reform processes started in 1997, main units of the Mongolian Armed Forces were reorganized into brigades. In peacetime, sub-units of brigades have a mixed personnel organization, i.e. of constant combat readiness, training, and under strength. At present, the general purpose troops of the armed forces comprise motor rifle brigades, artillery brigade, independent motor rifle battalion, independent combat aircraft unit and other combat and combat supply and service units.

In 1997 the Mongolian Armed Forces had in service 650 tanks, 120 light armored reconnaissance vehicles, 400 armored infantry fighting vehicles, 300 armored personnel carriers, 300 towed artillery, 130 multiple rocket launchers, 140 mortars, and 200 anti-tank guns.

Mongolia deployed its troops to peacekeeping operations in Iraq and Afghanistan with 1970s Soviet style of weapons, transportation, and equipment. Although Mongolian troops are highly skilled on that weapon and equipment, they are not interoperable with the rest of the coalition members. Except for the United States provided Harris Corporation communications equipment, Mongolia had no other equipment which was interoperable.

In order to interoperate with other coalition members, Mongolia should have interoperable equipment such as M-4 rifles, modern communication equipment, and night vision equipment. Modernization of the weapon and equipment are third phase of the Armed Forces transformation. It is top priority for Mongolia to equip the Peacekeeping battalion with modern weapon and equipment that could meet the future peace operations requirements.

On January 14-18, 2008, Chief of the General Staff of the MAF Lieutenant General Tsevegsuren Togoo signed an agreement for acquisition of equipment and vehicles from Russia for 120 million US dollars during his official visit to Moscow, Russia.

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