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Artillery “Shakes” Bulboaca Training Ground

CHISINAU, November 4, 2011 — National Army artillery, the so-called “queen of field”, took part in ATLANT-2011 Command and Staff Exercise held Friday, November 4, at Bulboaca Military Training Ground.

After more than ten years since the last shootings, the artillery systems MT-12, 2S9 “NONA” and PM-120, as well as the D-20 heavy machine guns were used in a great inter-arms exercise. The event was carried out by the National Army Land Force Command and it brought together nearly 300 servicemen, 22 artillery units and 36 military technical units of the National Army. The National Army servicemen shot both, all the army’s artillery systems, as well as the infantry weapons and BMD-1 combat vehicles.

“ATLANT −2011” is a great event for the 2S9 “NONA” self-propelled artillery subunits shot from direct and indirect fire sights after 13-year break (the last shooting performed in 1998). MT-12 antitank guns worked again after 10 years (the last fire recorded in 2011). The PM-120 mortar shot after seven-year break. (last shooting in 2004). Moreover, four D-20 heavy machine guns were used for test firing after 13 years (the last shooting recorded in 1998).

The Minister of Defense stated that the National Army artillery was left away for many years being neglected by the leadership of the country. ATLANT-2011 exercise is the event to put this kind of weapons in use.

“As soon as I was assigned Minister of Defense, I concluded the National Army artillery was in bad condition because of the past authorities’ ignorant attitude”, Vitalie Marinuta stated. “Today, the artillery started working again after 13-year break and the National Army leadership and servicemen of different level made great efforts to recover this kind of weapons. Our major goal is to use the army’s artillery at the highest possible level. Thus, our servicemen will be trained in a true-to-life environment in addition to the theoretical knowledge they possess”, the Minister of Defense said.

“ATLANT−2011” exercise is meant to raise the professional readiness and competency of National Army servicemen. The event included missions typical of stability and support operations in common with classic missions carried out by the participants. Moreover, capabilities of fire support missions of artillery subunits were tested within the exercise.

The basic goal of the exercise relies on raising the task and tactical level of the Land Force Command staff and main staffs of National Army military units.

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