Location map


Location

Armenia

 

Team Deployment

4 member team and 2 specialists

 

Y Care International proposed to fund two specialists to travel to Armenia and produce a definitive report covering possible routes for the shipment of aid.

IRC was asked to provide a small support & communications team to help these specialists.

Here are extracts from the mission reports:

Wednesday 2nd December 1992

The team travelled to Heathrow with a good margin of time to book in the equipment but delays due to excess baggage, and the need to have it checked through to Yerevan, necessitated a little bit of negotiation. Bad weather at Paris meant the first flight was aborted, followed by a 2 hour wait back at Heathrow. The next flight was delayed due to an emergency with another aircraft but the team finally got their Aeroflot connection and reached Yerevan at 0640 local time.

Tuesday 1st Dec 1992

The team assembled at Glory Mill the evening prior to departure. This gave time to package equipment, brief and meet the specialists. It was decided that as we would be working part of the time as 2 units, these would consist of:

Team A

• Harry Leefe
• Peter Ranger
• Willie McMartin

Team B

• Barry Sessions
• Glen Lloyd
• Brian Davison

Thursday 3rd December 1992

Sat comms on hotel roof in Yerevan. Barry Sessions, Brian Davison, Willie McMartin and Peter Ranger (Cranfield logistician.)


Bridge on road from Megri.


Bridge on road from Megri.


Road from inside vehicle


Mountain way point


Scandinavian type buildings (after earthquake) in Leninakan


Orphanage near Yerevan. Kitchen area.


Orphanage near Yerevan. Outside of building.


Save the Children and Christian Aid sent help after our return and they rebuilt the whole complex and trained local staff. Barry Sessions.


Inside with the children. For many this was their first hot meal and they did not understand what it was.

 

The specialists

• Harry Leefe (logistics), a member of IRC and Cranfield Trust.
• Peter Ranger (mechanical engineer), a member of Cranfield Trust.
It would be their task to produce the report on Routes along which any future Aid Shipment to Armenia would be sent. These routes would come from 3 directions, Iran, Turkey and Georgia.

The IRC team

• Barry Sessions
• Glen Lloyd
• Brian Davison
• Willie McMartin
It would be their task to support the Specialists and provide communications via satellite links. To allow the team to split and still have communications a TCS 9200 System “A” was hired.
A two week period had been allocated to carry out this task, flying via Paris to Yerevan in Armenia. Temperatures were expected to be very low and specialist kit to deal with this was obtained.


The entry into Armenia was slow but fortunately the team met a group from the PYUNIC Association. They were at the airport on other business but agreed to transport the team and the equipment to the Armenian Hotel where their contact was to be found.

On their first view of Armenia, it was clear to those who had been before how much change had taken place. The hotel was a culture shock. It was one of the best in the country and really brought home how poor conditions were. Four rooms were booked, three for the personnel and one for the equipment. The team started to settle in and once more checked the equipment. Just as well, as one generator had inadvertently been packed with oil in the sump and this had leaked over the complete contents of one box.

IRC members set up and tested both Satellite Communications units and found all in order. Initial problems of locating satellite were solved by use of a GPS unit to fix exact latitude and longitude. The specialists had a meeting those who could help and started the planning of the first trip out.

Yard at Spitak Rescue HQ in Yerevan. Glen Lloyd, Barry Sessions, Brian Davison and Willie McMartin.

 

Saturday 5th December 1992

Transport arrived one vehicle short. It was still at Spitak Rescue HQ.

Team B, who were to travel to Georgia left to join up with this vehicle. Whilst at Spitak HQ they arranged to have a letter of introduction typed in Russian but on IRC headed paper in case it may help them on their journey north.
Team A headed south for Iran. Team A travelled to Goris. They found the journey fairly easy; Goris was a rest and recuperation centre and appeared fairly wild. They arrived at Megri and were well pleased with what they found, although the journey was not without its moments due to the roads and passing through bandit areas.

Team B travelled through Armenia and into Georgia. At Tiblisi they made contact with the International Red Cross and then moved on towards Batumi.

Monday 7th December 1992

Team A decided to try and make Yerevan in a single run. The first Niva with the trailer would stop only out of necessity, with the second doing the waypoints, etc. This run took 10 1/2 hours. As they entered Yerevan they heard on the radio that civil war had started in Georgia. At hotel set up Satellite Communications and sent a Situation Report.

Team B tried to take a mountain route but were stopped at Colas by snow. They returned to Batumi and tried a second route. Sent Situation Report and stayed over in Samtrazi, unaware of change to war status.

Tuesday 8th December 1992

Team A spent the day passing messages and reports. Planned trip to Turkish border for next day. Only two members to go as only one Niva available.
Team B head to Armenia on snow covered roads. Arrive back at Yerevan via Kirovakan.
Debrief and discussion shows both teams appear to have done well. Both Fax machines giving problems.

Thursday 10th December 1992

Visit to Spitak Rescue HQ and make arrangements for team A to go to Goris and Lacheen corridor, and Team B to go to Kirovakan. Teams to look into Distribution network.

Friday 11th December 1992

Team A set out for Goris. One Niva blows a cylinder head gasket, 50 Km from Yerevan. Use Sat Comms to arrange a tow in. Two members must return with vehicle, whilst another carries on with the local guide and driver.
Team B carry out distribution survey. Stay at Post Trauma Centre overnight.

Sunday 13th December 1992

Reports and Meetings. Start to check kit for return to UK.
Three team members visit an Orphanage. This is a soul destroying trip.
They also help the PYUNIC Group deliver Ski equipment for a children’s winter camp.

Wednesday 16th December 1992

Leave at 0400 hours to start trip home. Very slow with many hold ups. Slight trouble at Paris due to extra hand luggage. All return home safely.

 

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