Demining training in the territory of peacekeeping engineering battalion 2013-04-11 On April 2the demining training delivered by instructors from the Kansas National Guard kicked off on the ground of MoD Peacekeeping Engineering Battalion under the coordination of the ``Humanitarian Demining and Expertise Center`` SNCO. This is a regular phase of the demining training program in Armenia. The first week of the training was participated by the demining instructors from the previous phase (which took place in September 2012) in order to review and enhance the knowledge obtained in the previous phase of demining training course. The second week of the training is designed for deminers, and the participants of the 1st week sessions will teach as instructors and will hold exercises with the support of the American instructors. Specialists from the RA police and the Ministry of Emergency Situations are also involved in the training. These trainings, held within the framework of the Armenia-Kansas State Partnership Program, are systematic and are very important for retraining of Armenian deminers and for exchanging experience. Watch video material >>
American working group`s visit to Armenia 2013-03-30 On March 25 to 29, a working group of the Kansas National Guard and the U.S. European Command representatives was in Armenia, to coordinate the preparatory activities for the conduct of ``First aid to the wounded on the battlefield`` training in the Armenian armed forces. The course which starts in May will consist of two parts: first aid to the injured on minefields and emergency first aid to the wounded in the field. Training is planned to be conducted under the guidance of instructors from the U.S. European Command and the Kansas National Guard. Representatives of the U.S. European Command and the Kansas National Guard had meetings with the representatives of Military Medical and Engineering Departments, ``Humanitarian Demining and Expertise Center`` SNCO, and the faculty of Yerevan State Medical University military medical department. During the meetings the parties discussed the organization of the above mentioned training and the enhancement of cooperation in this area. Representatives of the Kansas National Guard also paid a visit to the Peacekeeping Brigade of the Armenian armed forces, and were briefed about tasks of the medical platoon of the brigade and brigade`s medical capabilities.  
Discussion of the Armenian-American military cooperation activities 2013-03-26 On March 26, the annual Armenia-US military cooperation planning conference took place in Yerevan. Amongst the participants were representatives ofthe U.S. European Command, Kansas National Guard and US Marine Forces Europe. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the planned activities in the framework of the Armenia-US military cooperation for the years 2013 and 2014, and to draft defence cooperation plan between the Ministry of Defence of Armenia and theUS European Command. The objectives of the cooperation plan include: support to the implementation of Armenia-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan enhancing the interoperability between Armenia and NATO; support to develop professional military education system, with the focus on the training for non-commissioned officers and junior commanders; support to peacekeeping operations, military medical missions and preparatory processes for demining operations; training for the staff of Armenian Armed Forces army units at the US combat training centers located in Europe. The defense cooperation plan will be signed in the coming week by the exchange of letters. The US delegation also met with First Deputy Minister of Defense David Tonoyan. At the meeting, parties highly appreciated the current level of cooperation, and highlighted the importance of strengthening it in the areas of peacekeeping capability building and reforms in defence planning. First Deputy Minister of Defence stressed the importance of defense cooperation plan and the willingness of the parties to make the cooperation more goal-oriented. The U.S. side hailed the willingness of the Armenian side to enhance the defence cooperation and emphasized that the cooperation pursues common objectives and aims to strengthen international security and stability. Other issues of mutual interest related to the Armenia-US defense cooperation were also addressed at the meeting.  
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Systemic approach to humanitarian demining in the territory of Armenia 2013-03-26 On March 26, a discussion was held at the MoD administrative complex on humanitarian demining activites carried out since September 2012 in Syunik, Vayots Dzor, Ararat, Tavush and Gegharkunik provinces by the "Humanitarian Demining and Expertise Center"SNCO (HDEC) in cooperation with Swiss Foundation of Mine Action (FSD) and completed and forthcoming non-technical and technical surveys, actual demining operations. The discussion was attended by Minister of Defence Seyran Ohanyan, governors of the provinces, heads of communities, ambassadors accredited to Armenia and representatives of international organizations. The meeting was opened by First Deputy Minister of Defense David Tonoyan who presented the agenda of the meeting. The Chairman of HDEC Council,Deputy Minister of Defense Ara Nazaryan introduced the phases of the HDEC`s formation, specifications of its activities, current issues and challenges.He also informed that non-technical survey which  ends in May 2013 will be followed by actual demining operations. Simultaneously with survey conducts the Information Management System for Mine Action-a specially designed database will be reloaded. “The study of international experience, the drafting of a national mine action program, its approval and subsequent implementation are priority tasks for comprehensive demining activities in the territory of the Republic of Armenia. After the finding of non-technical survey are summarized the HDEC will be able to draft a national mine action plan based on accurate and reliable information and submit it to the Government and will take up its implementation after the final approval ``- said the Chairman of the HDEC Council. In his speech, the Head of the HDEC Ruben Arakelyan briefed the audience about activities and programs of the Center, and about the cooperation with international organizations. The meeting was also addressed by Valeria Fabbroni,Head of Operations of FSD and Johannes Odendaal,  Program Manager of FSD in Armenia presenting a progress analysis and assessment of non-technical survey findings conducted in the provinces of Armenia from October 2012 to March 2013, and independent expert opinions with this regard. The meeting was concluded Minister of Defence Seyran Ohanyan who expressed his gratitude to all participants of discussion. In his final remark the Minister noted: ``Extensive demining operations have been conducted since 1994 and it is time weset a systemic approach for the process. Significant work has been done along the borders of the Republic of Armenia to raise the security level.  Shortcomings and flaws we experienced during previous activities should be completely removed as we are dealing with the security of civilian population``.  
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