Military to Conduct More Frequent Reserve Drills

Armenian Army reservists

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia’s military has begun a nationwide call-up of reservists for training and exercises which military officials in Yerevan say will be more regular and intensive from now on.

Thousands of reserve troops are due to spend roughly one week in military camps this year to refresh and improve their combat skills.

The first group of reservists, all of them sappers and army engineers, began on Saturday weeklong exercises involving heavy demining equipment at a military training center about 40 southwest of Yerevan. Military officials say other reserve forces will be called up in the following weeks and months.

In a weekend statement, the Armenian Defense Ministry described the drills as a “planned event” stemming from Armenia’s law on military service. It said they are meant to “upgrade the combat skills of reserve personnel” and raise “the level of mobilization readiness in the Republic of Armenia.”

The ministry spokesman, Davit Karapetian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that the Armenian army command has decided to hold reserve drills on a more “regular” basis. He said they will also be more intensive than in the past.

Karapetian denied any “direct connection” between the exercises and what some Western officials and regional analysts see as an increased risk of another Armenian-Azerbaijani war for Nagorno-Karabakh. But he said Armenia’s Armed Forces must be prepared to give an “adequate response” to possible “changes in the security environment.”

Talk of renewed fighting in the conflict zone has intensified over the past year amid more frequent deadly skirmishes reported from the main Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” around Karabakh. Azerbaijan’s leaders have also continued to threaten to win back the disputed territory and surrounding areas by force.

An Azerbaijani state-controlled organization highlighted those threats on Tuesday when it launched sniper courses for young people, including girls. The AFP news agency reported that civilian participants will also learn about fighting techniques, weaponry, map-reading skills and legal issues.

The previous Armenian reserve mobilization was announced in March last year. The Defense Ministry said at the time that it wants to make sure that “every duty-bound Armenian man knows his place and function in the military” in case of a large-scale armed conflict.

In a separate development, Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian marked on Tuesday International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action with a visit to a demining center near Yerevan that was set up in 2002 with U.S. financial and technical assistance.

According to the Defense Ministry, the center has since demined more than 200 hectares of land in Armenian border regions and trained about 140 Armenian military personnel.

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10 Comments

  1. Peter said:

    Our profound thanks to the brave men and women who defend Armenia, and our profound outrage at those who by their corruption steal from and betray them.

  2. Armen said:

    War is near. The postponement of the airport opening is to allow us enough time to prepare our forces, we expect Azerbaijan to do something stupid. Sappers are being trained to clear out the heavily mined fields around our Artsakh defense positions, to allow ground troops to advance further into Azeri (well, our) territory in case Aliev makes a fatal mistake in the coming months.

    It is everyone’s responsibility to support our proud military. If you cannot fight yourself, donate any funds or expertise you may have.

  3. Milton Zaven said:

    Congratulations!
    The lessons of the past can not be forgotten.

  4. Truth said:

    the problem is : Turk-Azerbaijan are not afraid to sacrifice the life of one million of there citizens to gain more territory form Armenians, therefore Armenia and NKR need the most powerful weapons .u mean what i mean !

    Do not be blinded wit the fact that Turks and Turk Azerbaijan are wearing European clothes including tie/cravats, but they are still form the age of stone and really backward! Even today’s Islamic Iran – having an old civilization history and no history of committing genocide – with politicians without wearing European clothes and cravats are more modem ( compare to criminal Turkish state , I mean in there minds- see racist Erodgan & Co)!! The religion of Turk Azerbaijanis allows illegal marriages between families, therefore for Turkey and Turk -Azerbaijani the life of one million (or more ) people is nothing , if the would be sue they could get even a small part of remaining historic home land of Armenians

    Armenian nation still has to deal with pan Turkism and Islamo fascist ideologies in Baku and Ankara, for racist politicians in Ankara and Baku the number of killed solders or people doesn’t count what count is the kilometer captured land!

  5. Paul said:

    I agree with you Armen…every last one of us MUST support our army and country in case of war. Its our DUTY. GOD BLESS ARMENIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Halo said:

    Armenia should turn into a fierce militaristic country with an arsenal of nuclear weapons, it’s the only way to take our lands back without all the BS politics. That’s the only way to negotiate with 80 million brainwashed Islamics, by the threat of mass destruction.

    To the US, Armenia is an expendable country. Once it is armed to the hilt, it will not be expendable any more. The US would probably miraculously recognize the genocide within 48 hours in that scenario. 80 million Islamics supported by the US supposedly because we “need” Turkey and Azerbaijan would never take any chances against a small country of 3 million with an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

    Look at North Korea. It got labeled a “terrorist country” but once it demonstrated it’s nuclear capability, all of a sudden it was “time to negotiate”. And what about Israel, no need to even mention that, with all the nuclear power they have, it’s an open secret.

  7. Suren said:

    Every body should be ready, because if you are Armenian and you love your country and people good or bad, then when that time comes your butt better be on a plane to Armenia, guaranteed i will be on that ride because i cant wait to cure my country and people of the disease that its surrounded by

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