Posted on March. 15. 2023
The AANSI Team also visited an Armenian Army border military post in Armenia’s Syunik Region, the site of previous armed clashed between Armenian and Azeri forces.
Below is the transcript of a televised conversation between USA Armenian Life TV’s Appo Jabarian and U.S. Army Major General (Ret.) and AANSI – The American Armenian National Security Institute Chairman Mark MacCarley. The TV program includes a short interview in the vicinity of Armenian Army border military post in southern Armenia with Mr. MacCarley, U.S. Army Major General (Ret.) John Kem, and U.S. Army Brigadier General (Ret.) Christopher Spillman, Sr. The TV program was broadcast in Los Angeles, via AMGA channel on Friday March 10, 2023.
APPO JABARIAN: Good evening. The breaking news tonight is that a theme of experts led by foundingchairman of the American Armenian national security Institute U.S Army Major General retired Mark MacCarleymade an important trip to Armenia and the team was composed of three retired U.S army generals. They were authorized to pay a special visit to a border region in an undisclosed location in southern Armenia’s Syunik and other regions. Let’s watch this video together and then we’ll continue our conversation (place link here).
As part of the latest AANSI Educational Mission to Armenia, as experts in their respective fields, the three American generals had received a special clearance from the Defense Ministry of Armenia to travel to southern Armenia’s Syunik region. We have no authorization to reveal their exact location.
APPO JABARIAN: General MacCarley, could you tell our TV viewers as to — I know you cannot mention the name of this locality in Armenia. You’re in an undisclosed location in southern Armenia. Could you tell me and our TV viewers about your experience visiting border regions in Southern Armenia?
GENERAL MACCARLEY: It’s a great opportunity, Appo, to get educated on and assess the challenges that the Armenians face. The adversary, so far, has caused death and destruction to thousands of the Armenian people. So, we came out here as part of our efforts to understand how Armenia can best defend its borders and remain a sovereign nation.
APPO JABARIAN: Who do you have as part of your Team?
GENERAL MACCARLEY: On my left is Brigadier General Chris Spillman who is an air defense expert and to his left is Major General John Kem who is the former Commandant of the U.S. Army’s senior educational institution, The Army War College.
APPO JABARIAN: Could you tell me more about the generals? Are you all retired?
GENERAL MACCARLEY: Yes.
APPO JABARIAN: General Spillman, can you please share with our TV viewers about your experience so far in Armenia?
GENERAL SPILLMAN: It’s been a very educational experience for me. I’ve never been to Armenia before. The takeaway for me, is the passion that the Armenian military has for the defense of their nation. The professionalism that they have exhibited that I witnessed during this trip is most inspiring.
APPO JABARIAN: General Kem…
GENERAL KEM: Hi, John Kem here. It has really been an amazing trip and for me also, it’s my first time in Armenia. I think one of the things that’s very different from the United States Army, we’re playing a way game. Where in other countries usually doing things here the Armenian military has to work so closely with the citizens, so, there’s no space. No matter what you do, you’re impacting each other. So, defending the Homeland is so hard when your borders are not secure. It’s dangerous. So, we really appreciate the way they are all working together.
APPO JABARIAN: Could you share with our TV viewers about your activities before your retirement?
GENERAL KEM: I was the commandant of the United States Army War College. It was my last job, and then a series of other jobs as a general officer during my 35 years in the army.
APPO JABARIAN: General Spillman?
GENERAL SPILLMAN: I was the Commandant of the Army artillery forces in the Middle East. I was the Commandant of the Air Defense Artillery School and I retired 2019 after almost 38 years of academic military service.
APPO JABARIAN: And General MacCarley?
GENERAL MACCARLEY: In most of my career in the Army I’ve been an army logistician. I have commanded at all levels of the U.S. Army’s logistics forces and ended up as a Deputy Chief of Staff for TRADOC – the Army’s Training and Doctrination Command.
APPO JABARIAN: So far, how many similar educational missions have you led as Founding Chairman of the American Armenian National Security Institute – AANSI?
GENERAL MACCARLEY: As Chairman of AANSI, this is the third one
APPO JABARIAN: How would you qualify this third mission? Would you qualify it as a moderate success or as an absolute success?
GENERAL MACCAR LEY: I’m going to make it really quick – it’s an absolute success!
APPO JABARIAN: Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you, team!
APPO JABARIAN: So, like we see in the video, The AANSI educational delegation’s the three American retired generals paid their respects to the one- and one-half millions martyred victims of the 1915-1923 Turkish-executed Armenian Genocide. They’ve visited the Armenian Genocide Monument and the Museum located in the outskirts of Yerevan. In this video, we see General MacCarley offering his prayers and placing a flower near the Eternal Flame and then next, we see General Christopher Spillman, Sr. and then General John Kem. (Photos here)
Next, the AANSI team paid a visit to the Armenian Military Museum where they were acquainted with photographs, the sand map of the First Artsakh Liberation War (1989-1993), and other historic facts/documents and artifacts. (Photos here)
The AANSI team also visited the Yerablur Armenian Military Cemetery in Yerevan and paid homage to the fallen Armenian soldiers who have fought valiantly in the First Artsakh Liberation War (1989-1993), The Four-Day War in 2016, and the 44-Day Anti-Armenian Aggression by Azerbaijan-Turkey-ISIS and offered prayers in their memory. (Photos here)
And then, the AANSI team paid a visit and offered prayers at the medieval Armenian Church Saint Sarkis Cathedral in Yerevan. (Photos here)
After that, in the next video, we see General MacCarley presenting medical equipment intended for wounded Armenian soldiersdonatedbyDr.SarkisMesrobian,AANSIsupporterandChairmanofPan-ArmenianNat’lEmergencyCommittee. (Photos here)
Now, I’m glad to report to you that in the studio with me is the Founding Chairman of the American Armenian National Security Institute U.S. Army Major General (Ret.) Mark MacCarley.
APPO JABARIAN: Thank you for being here General MacCarley. Could you please tell our viewers about the most recent AANSI Educational Mission to Armenia? What was the main purpose of the mission? Why did you go to Armenia as part of the AANSI team?
GENERAL MACCARLEY: Appo, it was really my great honor to lead our third educational mission to the Republic of Armenia. This mission was the culmination of a tremendous amount of work and coordination between our United States Department of Defense and US Military Attaché in Armenia as well the Armenian Ministry of Defense and its Military Attaché in the United States. (Respectively Col. Gregory Pipes, Military Attaché of the U.S. and Col. Arman Mkrtchyan of the Republic of Armenia.) (Photos here)
GENERAL MACCARLEY: At the invitation of the Commandant of the Armenian Army National Defense Research University, we accepted an opportunity to lecture to the future senior leadership of the Armenian Army — those men and women now attending the Republic of Armenia’s National Defense Research University, attendance at which is a prerequisite to promotion to general officer. So, we spent a little over a week – I and my team, consisting of U.S. Army Major General (Ret.) John Kem who was the former Commandant of the United States Army’s senior military educational facility, the Army War College, and U.S. Army Brigadier General (Ret.) Christopher Spillman who served as the Commandant of the United States Army’s Air Defense School College. We discussed topics to include air defense which is a matter of huge interest and concern to the Armenian Army due to losses sustained by Armenian forces from Azeri drones during the 2020 War, So, the student officers, most of whom are full colonels, wanted to know our suggestions as to tactics necessary to defeat that Azeri armed drone attacks. We also addressed other topics to include command of forces in combat, the law of wars, and combat logistics. I believe that those colonels gained an understanding of how America defends its borders; trains its soldiers and equips its forces.
APPO JABARIAN: (Brief translation in Armenian) As we learned from General MacCarley, three American generals, together, had arrived in Armenia in order to fulfill an educational mission. General MacCarley, in the areas of Logistics/Training and Doctrination; General Spillman, in the areas of Air Defense, and General Kem as the Commandant of War College, shared their vast experience and knowledge with the highest elite of Armenia’s defense establishment at the National Defense Research University. And this of course, is the continuation of The American Armenian National Security AANSI’s mission.
This is what General MacCarley has shared with us as an exact inspirational example as to what AANSI — The American Armenian National Security Institute is set out to accomplish. Just like it had promised since its inception, among other educational tasks, AANSI is set out to empower Armenia and Artsakh to consolidate their Sovereignty, Independence and Defense.
Like I have written in AANSI Magazine and in USA Armenian Life that Armenia and the Armenian Nation reserve their birthright – they have the birthright to empower Armenian and Artsakh to diversify their foreign alliances in order to support and assist the twin Armenian republics achieve much better position in terms of National Sovereignty, Independence and Defense.
APPO JABARIAN: The next question Mr. MacCarley, could you please share with our TV viewers briefly on AANSI’s two previous missions? (Photos here)
GENERAL MACCARLEY: As I said, Appo, previous two missions were steps that we had to take and did take to get to where we were 10 days ago. Almost two years ago during our first official AANSI mission to Armenia, it was really important for AANSI team members at that time to gain the trust of senior members of the Armenian Army and senior members of the Armenian civilian government. So, we spent a good amount of time meeting in offices with those senior officials and describing and clarifying to those officials what our purpose was in coming to Armenia.
At the conclusion of our first mission and having entered Artsakh — this was very soon after the conclusion of the 2020 War, we viewed the horrific injuries suffered by those Armenia and Artsakh soldiers — those Valiant Warriors what we call the Lions of Artsakh and Armenia during the course of that war. We made it a commitment to raise enough money so that along with AANSI supporters, we could make a substantial contribution to the veterans’ hospital facility in Stepanakert. Thanks to generous support by AANSI members, we were able to accomplish that objective and we’re continuing to focus on helping the Veterans of Artsakh and Armenia.
We have a second line effort: that is the establishment the AANSI Humanitarian Support Brigade.
This is not a military organization at all, it’s a group of American Armenians and Americans from all sorts of ethnicities who have come together – we’re looking for about 40, who have agreed to spend two weeks in Armenia this coming summer to gain training in such areas as first aid mass casualty care, reconstruction skills for repair areas damaged by unfortunately man-made — meaning war or natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or fires. They train in other subjects to include telecommunications, internet and telephone services and logistics. We train these young people – these young people don’t necessarily have to be young people at all but the course we focus on those between 18 and between 25. They commit to deploy within 96 hours of notice to Armenians worldwide in times of Armenia/Artsakh’s crisis and to exercise those skills that we’ve taught them at the training facility this summer. These young people will jump right into the action. AANSI provides the leadership and it certifies the skills of these AANSI volunteers. These members of the AANSI Humanitarian Support Brigade become real, valuable assets to Armenia – for many of them, Armenia is their homeland or the homeland of their parents or their grandparents, many of whom were genocide victims. So, that’s what we’re doing in those three lines of efforts. (Photos here)
APPO JABARIAN: Thank you General MacCarley. As many of our TV viewers recall and as General MacCarley has shared with our TV Viewers, AANSI -The American Armenian National Security Institute came to life as a result of a major concern coming about soon after the 44-Day Anti-Armenian Aggression in Fall 2020 by Azerbaijan-Turkiye-ISIS. So, AANSI basically is a gift –actually more than a gift. It’s a solid commitment from the American Armenian community and Fellow Americans who have affinity with Armenia and the Armenian Heritage like General MacCarley.
So, this Mission will continue. AANSI is the byproduct of extraordinary times as experienced by Armenia and world Armenians — as we know, in the last few years — already three years now, as Armenia is going through extraordinary times in terms of geopolitical shifting of balance of power and the earth-shattering political changes taking place in that part of the world which is called basically the Armenian Highlands. Which is also known as the South Caucasus and Eastern Anatolia. (‘Anatolia’ by the way is a Greek word describing the region located in the East of Byzantine which falls right in the area in the region where Eastern and Western Armenia are located. So, for those of you who would like to learn more about AANSI please call 818-241-5800 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.aansi.org
AANSI – The American Armenian National Security is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
AANSI is not funded by the U.S. government, the Republic of Armenia government or any other government. It is funded through donations provided by generous supporters from within the American Armenian community and mainstream Americans with affinity toward Armenia/Artsakh and the Armenian Heritage.
AANSI is a non-partisan entity with an open-door policy toward fellow Americans coming from all walks of life, ethnic and political backgrounds.
Among other important objectives, The American Armenian National Security of America (AANSI) is dedicated to educating Congressional, military and civilian national security decision-makers on American and Armenian defense and strategic interests, the cornerstone of which is robust U.S.-Armenia security cooperation. AANSI believes that a strong American and Armenian military and national security posture is the best guarantor of peace and the survival of our values and civilization.