HOHENFELS, Germany -- The Armenian forces received the order to take the hill. Working with the Serbian army, and with little assistance from an American civil affairs detachment, they did just that.
Members of the Armenian Peacekeeping Brigade and the 41st Infantry Battalion, 4th Brigade, Serbian Army, formed a unified force during a training mission, Oct. 28, in a scenario here at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center. The mission: Seize the enemy position and conduct a meeting with a nearby village.
Armenian and Serbian forces have been working together in what's become a unique opportunity at Combined Resolve III, a larger multinational exercise now in its third week. That exercise brings together more than 4,000 troops from NATO and partner-nation militaries.
The Armenian-Serbian coalition was trying to reach Kittensee -- an entire mock village with actual role players as townsfolk -- when they were confronted by opposing forces. The opposing force, consisting of Dutch and U.S. Army troops, defended a crucial hill blocking the movement to Kittensee. And despite the opposing force's armored infantry vehicles, the Armenians and Serbians assaulted from opposite sides by dismounting from their HMMWVs. The hill was theirs and to the village they marched.
These partnerships, however unlikely to occur in real life, create camaraderie with other nations as friends as well as fellow soldiers, said Maj. Davit Aleksanyan, infantry commander of 7th Company, Armenian Peacekeeping Brigade.
Working with other nations, however, causes problems with communication for tactical troop movements even while using a mutual language, such as English, said Aleksanyan, adding that "We overcome this with detailed planning and by using exact military terms."
Following the seizure of the hill, members of the Armenian Peacekeeping Brigade peacefully secured Kittensee and met the "mayor" to discuss the needs and grievances of the community. Accompanying the Armenian-Serbian coalition was a civil affairs team comprised of soldiers from the 339th Psychological Operations Company, U.S. Army Reserve.
The meeting with the mayor of Kittensee provided the Armenian soldiers the experience of establishing relationships with influential local nationals.
"I want to show what we are capable of and they want to show what they are capable of," Aleksanyan said of the coalition.
He added that, because of the valued training, the Armenians and Serbians are moving forward as a multinational force. "I can see that if things go wrong it's because of poor planning," he said.