On August 28th, U.S. Ambassador Richard M. Mills, Jr. and Armenian Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan attended the graduation ceremony for 12 trainers of military medics of the Armenian Army who are the first graduates of an innovative medical training course taught by members of the U.S. military.
For the past three months, six U.S. Army personnel have led classes for the Armenian military medics, who will now serve as instructors for the Armenian military paramedic school. The course is a collaboration between the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation and the Armenian Ministry of Defense, designed to improve the medical treatment of Armenian military wounded.
“You will save lives. Thanks to you, more of your brothers and sisters in arms will return home from places that others fear to tread, dangerous places where you agree to go in the name of peace,” Ambassador Mills told the graduates.
The U.S. military’s training team of highly skilled and experienced U.S. Army sergeants and an officer led the Armenian military medics through an extensive course of the latest techniques, based on the same curriculum used to teach American military medics. Thousands of pages of material were translated into Armenian, marking the first time the course has been offered in a language other than English. As a result of this successful partnership, other nations are requesting the U.S. military conduct similar courses in their native languages.
“The strong American-Armenian partnership is once again demonstrating what we can achieve when we work together,” Ambassador Mills said. “Today’s graduation is, indeed, just the latest illustration of a bilateral relationship that continues to strengthen and grow. This training is one more example of our nations’ mutual progress, our joint friendship, and our strong trust and belief in one another. I know our partnership will strengthen as we continue to face international challenges to security and stability that cannot be solved by any one country alone. The challenges of today’s world require strong international cooperation between like-minded countries and this ceremony is evidence that U.S.-Armenian cooperation is alive and well.”
The partnership between the American military and the Armenian Peacekeeping Brigade is a long and important one. A platoon of the Armenian Peacekeeping Brigade deployed in 2004 as part of a NATO force to maintain stability and peace in Kosovo. Since that time, Armenian soldiers have actively supported NATO peacekeeping operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Last November, Armenia troops went to Lebanon as part of a UN International Peacekeeping Force.