On August 13, U.S. Ambassador Richard M. Mills, Jr. visited the Yerevan Emergency Operations Center to attend the Appreciation Ceremony for the humanitarian civic assistance projects implemented by the Kansas National Guard. In addition to renovating the Emergency Operations Center, Kansas Air and Army National Guard engineers also completed renovations to Ashtarak hospital and Yerevan Elderly Institute #1 during the past two weeks. Ambassador Mills had the opportunity to visit these latter two sites on August 7.
The Appreciation Ceremony enjoyed high-level attendance from various Government of Armenia ministries and offices, including the First Deputy from the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations, the First Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Defense, the Deputy Minister from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the Deputy Head of Rescue Services from the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations, and representation from the Aragatsotn Marz Government. Together with Ambassador Mills, these officials toured the renovation site, viewed a presentation of the three renovation projects, and spoke with the various attendees.
In his remarks, Ambassador Mills commended the Kansas National Guard engineers for their hard work and dedication to improve the quality of life for everyday Armenians in such a tangible and meaningful way, and thanked the Government of Armenia for its support and cooperation in making this program a success. The ambassador further noted that the Kansas National Guard Humanitarian Civic Assistance program is just one of the many programs carried out by the United States, in partnership with the Armenian government and civil society, whose goal it is to provide assistance to the Armenian people.
The Republic of Armenia signed a bilateral affairs agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense and the State of Kansas in 2003, establishing the Kansas-Armenia State Partnership Program, of which the Humanitarian Civic Assistance program is a part. The latter program, funded by U.S. European Command, is designed to help improve the quality of life of Armenians, further strengthen the friendship between the U.S. and Armenia, and provide training for Kansas National Guard engineers.
The Humanitarian Civic Assistance program between Kansas and Armenia was first implemented in 2014, when Kansas Air National Guard engineers renovated the Darbas School and Darbas Clinic. This year, over 40 soldiers and airmen worked on the renovation projects.