YEREVAN, Armenia — Mine detection and disposal equipment provided by the U.S. arrived at the Armenian Humanitarian Demining Unit Jan. 22, timed to correspond with the arrival of U.S. Kansas National Guard soldiers who are working to familiarize the Armenian unit with their new equipment.
The U.S. mine detection and explosive protective equipment, valued at about $300,000.00, will be used by the Armenian unit to support their humanitarian demining mission in Armenia. The equipment will also support their deminers that deploy from Armenia to work with the Coalition Forces in Iraq, where they conduct demining and mine disposal missions.
The delivery of the mine detection and disposal equipment marks the start of a larger program of U.S. assistance to the Armenian Humanitarian Demining Unit in 2008. The unit, which was initially funded in 2003 through a USAID program, will receive additional training and equipment to enhance their capability, through the U.S. Embassyâ€™s Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC). The ODC will team up with the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) office based at the U.S. European Command in Germany to provide the training in March 2008, while the additional equipment will be provided throughout this year.
The U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation in Armenia works to foster U.S. government and industry assistance to Armenia in the defense sphere. The office operates under the authority of the U.S. Chief of Mission in Armenia and the U.S. European Command, located in Stuttgart, Germany.