The Co-operation Between the Armenian Armed Forces and the Kansas National Guard Highly Valued
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 21:30
From 2 to 8 December the delegation headed by Major General Lee Tafanelli, Adjutant General of Kansas, and Lieutenant Governor of Kansas Jeff Colyer was on a working visit to the Republic of Armenia to participate in the ceremonies marking the 10th Anniversary of the co-operation between the Armenian Armed Forces and the Kansas National Guard. The events are organised within the framework of the partnership programme between Armenia and the State of Kansas.
During the visit, on 5 December the delegation from Kansas was received by Minister of Defence of the Republic of Armenia Seyran Ohanyan. Both parties highly valued the level of co-operation between the Kansas National Guard and the Armenian Ministry of Defence and noted that in the course of the 10-year co-operation considerable work has been conducted, emphasising the importance of further development of the co-operation.
After the meeting, a ceremony dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of the co-operation between the Armenian Armed Forces and the Kansas National Guard was held in the conference hall of the administrative complex of ARM MoD. During the session, ARM Minister of Defence Seyran Ohanyan addressed once again the broad range of the co-operation with the partner state in spheres of defence, particularly demining, formation of professional NCO corps, military medicine, military justice, etc.; emergency situations, law enforcement, health care, agriculture and others. The high value of the co-operation was also demonstrated by the recent adoption of 1751 resolution on 3 April unanimously voted by the Kansas State Senate on occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the partnership programme between Armenia and the State of Kansas. The resolution highly appreciates the 10-year co-operation between the Armenian Armed Forces and the Kansas National Guard, as well as the efforts made by the political and military leadership of Armenia for the development of the co-operation.
The Minister of Defence expressed his gratitude to the people of Kansas for their acknowledgement of the tragic events of the history of the Armenian people, underlining that the State of Kansas is one of the 43 US States having recognised the Armenian Genocide and commemorates 24 April as a Day of Remembrance of the Armenian people since 2005.
In his speech Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the US to Armenia, His Excellency John Heffern also highlighted the fruitful co-operation and noted that in a number of spheres the donor and aid recipient relations with Armenia have long since shifted to equal partnership relations. In particular, Ambassador Heffern pointed out the contribution made by Armenian peacekeepers in operations ensuring international stability and security in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as efforts in emergency situations response and trade and commerce relations.
On his part, the Adjutant General of Kansas announced that next year the US troops stationed in Kosovo will be replenished with servicemen of the Kansas National Guard and given their experience of 10 years, the Kansas soldiers are confident that the Armenian peacekeepers will be reliable and professional military partners in Kosovo.
During the event, a movie dedicated to the 10thAnniversary of the co-operation, produced by the Information and Public Relations Department of ARM MoD was shown. At the end of the event Major General Lee Tafanelli, Head of the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program, Lieutenant-Colonel Brent Salmans and Bilateral Affairs Officer at the Office of Defence Cooperation , U.S. Embassy in Armenia, Captain Aaron Isaacson were awarded medals "For military co-operation" of the ARM Armed Forces.
During the visit the delegation from Kansas visited the peacekeeping brigade of ARM MoD, the Humanitarian Demining and Expertise Centre and the peacekeeping engineering battalion of ARM MoD.
In the framework of the visit, the delegation also participated in the conference organised by the Armenian Ministry of Emergency Situations titled 'Public awareness raising as a milestone for disaster risk reduction', as well as visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial in order to pay tribute to victims of the Armenian Genocide.
On 7 December the delegation participated in the commemorations marking the anniversary of the Spitak earthquake organised in Gyumri and Spitak and on 8 December left Yerevan.