May 15, 2008

NATO Cooperative Longbow/Lancer-08 Exercise presentation


On May 15 2008, the Information Center on NATO in Armenia hosted the presentation of command-staff and field Cooperative Longbow/Lancer 08 Exercise, which is to take place in September-October in Armenia within the framework of NATO “Partnership for Peace” Program.

According to the approved plan, at the first stage, which will last from September 26 to October 7, the command-staff exercise of Cooperative Longbow will take place, in which 429 officers will participate, 84 of which – representatives of Armenia. For the second stage, which is to last from October 5 to 21, the field exercise of Cooperative Lancer is planned, in which 748 military will participate, 320 of which – from Armenia.

The scenario of the fall exercise will represent a military conflict on an imaginary island in the Atlantic Ocean, where NATO and its Partners will carry out a peacekeeping operation.

Deputy Chief of Staff of Allied Land Component Command Headquarters Heidelberg, Brigade General Claudio Vercellotti noted that Cooperative Longbow/Lancer 08 Exercise would take place in Armenia by the proposal of the Armenian side. According to him, the Armenian officers demonstrated high level of professionalism during the previous year’s Exercise in Albania.

General Vercelotti stated that the Exercise in Armenia was the most important event for 2008 within the framework of NATO “Partnership for Peace” program. He noted that invitation for participation in Exercise was sent to all the participants of the given program, including Azerbaijan. According to the General, there were certain hopes that Turkish military would also participate in the Exercise.

Chief of International Military Cooperation and Defense Programs Department of the Armenian Ministry of Defense, Colonel David Tonoyan stated that the importance of the Exercise was in the fact that it allowed improving skills, providing for participation in joint NATO peacekeeping missions.