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    U.S. Marines, Moldovan Army partnerships strengthened through Advanced Weapons Workshop

    Anti-Armor Workshop

    Photo By Tatum Vayavananda | U.S. Marines and Moldovan soldiers integrated to conduct an Anti-Armor Workshop in...... read more read more

    BALTI (BEL'CY), MOLDOVA

    12.15.2014

    Story by Master Sgt. Chad McMeen 

    U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa     

    BALTI, Moldova – One week after the November 30th Moldovan elections, where pro-European parties maintained their majority in parliament, a military unit here hosted an anti-armor workshop with U.S. Marines.

    “We had about 50 [Moldovan] soldiers from three or four different units around the country. We brought 15 Marines here; some assaultmen and anti-tank misslemen,” said 1st Lt. Ben Skarzynski, executive officer for Weapons Company, Black Sea Rotational Force 14.

    The Marines from the Black Sea Rotational Force, located in Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, arrived Dec 8th and began classroom instruction on advanced weapon systems to build a mutual understanding of both firing procedures and characteristics.

    The military-to-military engagement was planned prior to the elections. The timing of the event in relation to the elections was coincidental however, the importance of the training can’t be denied.

    The country was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940 and became an independent country in 1991; Moldova continues to work toward integrating into the European Union.

    “We’re here to work on anti-armor tactics and procedures; an exchange of how they do things and how we do things,” said Skarzynski.

    Events like this show they are willing to build military capacity by working with the United States and other nations to increase their knowledge of tactics and procedures.

    “With our current mission set, [these events] greatly enables our capability to respond to contingencies in the region, which promotes greater stability,” said Skarzynski.

    By Thursday, the 50 Moldovan soldiers, who mostly have an artillery background, were on the range live-firing shoulder-mounted weapons with deadly accuracy at distances up to 1,000 meters.

    The Moldovan military ensured the week was mutually beneficial by providing instruction on their Rocket Propelled Grenade system and the 70mm Recoilless Rifle known as the SPG, with the opportunity for several to fire each one.

    “We get the opportunity to work with a lot of [partner] nations and build relationships with units and nations around the region and with that comes capacity,” said Skarzynski.

    The workshop culminated on Friday as the entire group conducted a full-on combined attack as distinguished visitors from both countries observed. The Moldovan Minister of Defense, BSRF leadership as well as military members from the USEUCOM Bilateral Affairs Office and the US Embassy Defense Attaché’s office were all present.

    “’Interoperability’ is our ability to work with and function with another nation, in thought and as well as in practical situations; we’ve culminated that here with a live-fire event with our Moldovan partners,” said Skarzynski.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.15.2014
    Date Posted: 12.15.2014 10:53
    Story ID: 150304
    Location: BALTI (BEL'CY), MD 

    Web Views: 431
    Downloads: 1
    Podcast Hits: 0

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