Tuesday, December 15, 2015

First Ukrainian Company nears end of training cycle under CAF OP UNIFIER

DND Press Release: 

The last seven weeks have been leading up to the final set of exercises for the Ukrainian infantry company from the 30th Mechanized Battalion currently training under the mentorship of their Canadian Armed Forces partners.

After hours spent in classrooms and in the field, the Ukrainian trainees enter the final set of exercises meant to confirm all of the training that has been conducted under Op UNIFIER at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Starychi, Ukraine.
Canadian and Ukrainian soldiers
CAF Members work along side members of the Ukrainian Military during a training exercise, part of OP UNIFIER. November 25, 2015. Photo: CAF Combat Camera
“The past two months have seen a real exchange of skills and ideas between Canadian and Ukrainian soldiers,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Jason Guiney, Commander Joint Task Force Ukraine. “It is rewarding to see the first serial of training come to a successful end and I believe the soldiers that have undertaken this training will be better prepared for operations than they were eight weeks ago.”

These exercises are aimed at the platoon level and include both mechanized and dismounted live-fire ranges involving the Ukrainian Armed Forces Boevaya Mashina Pehoty-2 (BMP-2) Infantry Fighting Vehicles and a numerous of other weapon systems employed by them.

“The enthusiasm of the Ukrainians has been very high and they have developed a better understanding of how to employ their BMPs in platoon level operations. I believe they are better off now than before undertaking this training” said Lieutenant-Colonel Jason Guiney.

The instruction has been varied, continuous and has confirmed the value of the training package delivered by the CAF contingent. The training provided also included elements on weapons handling, first aid, artillery and mechanized infantry training.

“We started with basic gateway and refresher training,” said a Canadian infantry Sergeant who specializes in mechanized operations, “and as time moved on, we were able to incorporate mechanized and dismounted infantry tactics.”

While the final series of exercises is designed to confirm the skills learned by the Ukrainian soldiers, the CAF instructors are already scheduled to start training with a fresh Ukrainian infantry company.

The partnership between Canadians and Ukrainians continues to grow. The lessons and experiences learned over the past few months will be applied to the upcoming phase of training, as part of a multinational training effort, the Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine.

Operation UNIFIER is Canada’s contribution to support Ukrainian forces through capacity building, in coordination with the U.S. and other countries providing similar training assistance.