News: Training heats up for Armenian troops
Story by Sgt. Samantha Parks
CAMP SLIM LINES, Kosovo – With their transfer of authority completed, the Armenian coy hit the ground running and turned up the heat with crowd and riot control training.
Armenian soldiers with Multinational Battle Group-East participated in fire phobia training at Camp Slim Lines Jan. 4. For most soldiers, it was the first time they had experienced the training with Molotov cocktails.
“It’s [my] first time and it’s very interesting,” said Armenian Jr. Sgt. Seerek Hrhalutyunyan. “I’ve seen [fire phobia training] before, but never [participated.]”
This Armenian rotation had only been in Kosovo for less than a month.
“This is the second big training [event], the first one was the CRC training with [notional rioters],” said Armenian Capt. Slavik Avtisyan. “This training is very important for the CRC because nobody knows what we are going to face when we see the crowd.”
Fire phobia training consisted of crawl, walk and run phases. Each phase began with a demonstration by Portuguese soldiers and then built on the previous phase’s instruction.
Soldiers began by practicing as individuals with water bottles. The training progressed to using Molotov cocktails and responding to them as squad and platoon size elements.
“We should do [the training] as much as we can because we should be ready at all times when we are here,” Avtisyan said. “We don’t know when they will need a quick reaction force and we should be ready.”
Avtisyan explained it is important to conduct the platoon size element training because that is the size that would respond during a CRC event.
“We should do platoon training to understand each other and to know what we should do in each situation,” Avtisyan said.
Avtisyan said the training was a little difficult for some of his soldiers because of the language barrier.
“It is a little bit difficult for my soldiers because most of them don’t speak English, but a couple guys understood English so they [translated],” Avtisyan said. “The most important [part] is that my soldiers have fun.”