Armenia, U.S. Celebrate Reopening of Zar Peacekeeping Training Area

U.S. Brigadier General Dawne Deskins (C) and a senior Armenian military official inaugurate a newly renovated training center of the Armenian army (Photo: RFE/RL)
U.S. Brigadier General Dawne Deskins (C) and a senior Armenian military official inaugurate a newly renovated training center of the Armenian army (Photo: RFE/RL)

U.S. Brigadier General Dawne Deskins (C) and a senior Armenian military official inaugurate a newly renovated training center of the Armenian army (Photo: RFE/RL)

STUTTGART, Germany (U.S. Department of Defense) — On Tuesday, Armenian and U.S. leaders celebrated the reopening of the Zar Peacekeeping Training Area in Yerevan.

The training area is designed to increase the readiness and training of the 12th Peacekeeping Brigade, U.S. European Command officials said.

“By renovating this facility, the U.S. government is contributing to the Armenian Ministry of Defense’s efforts to boost training readiness,” said U.S. Embassy Armenia Charge d’Affaires Rafik Mansour. “This will have a noticeable impact on the 12th PKB’s ability to deploy in support of peacekeeping operations worldwide.”

Armenia and the United States have a long-standing partnership built on a common vision of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace, celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations, officials said.

“The opening of the Zar PTA is a strong symbol of the cooperation between the United States and Armenia,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Dawne L. Deskins, Eucom’s deputy director of partnering and missile defense, said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We look forward to many more years together bringing greater security throughout the region.”

The training area’s goal is to establish a permanent cadre and support staff that will provide regional and international partners continuous use of the facility, Eucom officials said.

The 12th PKB is an Armenian unit that contributes troops to multinational peacekeeping missions. Mansour noted Armenia’s contributions to international peacekeeping operations.

“Armenia’s deployment of troops to places like Afghanistan, Kosovo and Lebanon has demonstrated a commitment to make the world a safer place,” he said.

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