Armenians sharpen Quick Reaction Force skills

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Two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters land in a field in Crep/Crepana, Kosovo, during a Quick Reaction Force training exercise, Sept. 18. The helicopters were used to deploy and extract Armenian soldiers. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)

A cloud of dust is kicked up as two UH-60 Blackhawks land in an open field in Crep/Crepana, Kosovo, as part of a Quick Reaction Force training exercise, Sept. 18. The helicopters held Armenian soldiers, and deployed the soldiers to the incident area. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)

A UH-60 Blackhawk takes off after unloading a squad of Armenian soldiers during a Quick Reaction Force training exercise in Crep/Crepana, Kosovo, Sept. 18. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)

Ukrainian Sgt. Nikolai Sverdleuko(left), Ukraine COY, looks on as Armenian Sgt. Hrachik Mirzoyan, medic, Hellas COY, prepares a bandage during a Quick Reaction Force training exercise in Crep/Crepana, Kosovo, Sept. 18. Sverdleuko sustained a simulated injury as part of the exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)

Ukrainian Staff Sgt. Urii Boudarchuk, Ukraine COY, Multinational Battle Group East, is carried to a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during a Quick Reaction Force training exercise in Crep/Crepana, Kosovo, Sept. 18. The training is designed to ensure all of the Companies in MNBG E are prepared at all times. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Brian J. Holloran, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, Connecticut National Guard)

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – A vehicle carrying troops from Multinational Battle Group East loses control and strikes a telephone pole. A radio transmission requesting aid is sent. With a motorized whine and a spray of dust and dirt, two UH-60 Blackhawks touchdown in an empty field, the doors are thrown open and Armenian soldiers pour out. The Quick Reaction Force has arrived.

This was the scene outside of Crep/Crepana, Kosovo, Sept. 18, as Armenian and Ukraine soldiers sharpened their QRF skills during a training exercise.

Each company in MNBG E practices QRF drills regularly in order to remain sharp and effective, said Capt. Alex Mercado, battle captain, 92nd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, MNBG E.

The scenario this time was a vehicle carrying soldiers from the Ukraine contingent that lost control, injuring two soldiers when the vehicle struck a telephone pole.

“Once the QRF arrives they will assess the situation and see what needs to be done,” said Mercado, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, a member of the Puerto Rico National Guard. “The medic will evaluate the injuries, and if a medevac is warranted, then they will call one in.”

After the QRF arrives and evaluates the situation they are responsible for securing the area and deciding what happens next.

“When we seen that it was a car accident with injuries, I immediately started treating and evaluating the injured soldiers,” said Armenian Sgt. Hrachik Mirzoyan, medic, Hellas COY. “Once I realized some of the people were seriously hurt, I called in for a medevac and treated the injuries to the best of my ability.”

The training is designed to test the soldiers and their leadership, and to ensure the soldiers have an understanding of what their tasks are if and when they are ever called in for a QRF mission.

“The purpose of the training is to make sure I, as an officer, know how to lead my soldiers in a crisis and that my soldiers are able to perform under the added stress,” said Armenian Capt. Vahan Avocyyocn, Hellas COY. “This training also gives my soldiers and me the chance to work with different nations. These exercises are very unique experiences.”

That sentiment was seconded by other soldiers participating in the training.

“I believe not many people have the same chances that we have here,” said Ukrainian Capt. Aleksaundr Maliarchuk, Ukraine COY. “Not many people can say they work with soldiers from as many different nations as I have on this deployment. We learn a lot from each other, it makes all of us better soldiers.”

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