Military personnel from 17 countries are participating in a joint, multi-national training exercise, code-named Exercise Rapid Trident 2013, at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC) in Yavoriv, Ukraine.
The two-week exercise is scheduled to feature approximately 1,300 soldiers from Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and US.
A week-long field-training exercise (FTX) will be the main event of the drill, when participating forces will conduct operations against a simulated enemy.
A one-week situational training exercises programme involving countering improvised-explosive devices (C-IED), convoy operations and patrolling missions, will be conducted by the participants to prepare for the FTX.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, exercise co-director colonel Alfred Renzi said: "Over the last several months, Ukraine has set the highest of standards and, supported by dedicated planners from our partner countries, has set the conditions for excellent training."
Participating US units include an airborne-infantry company from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Observer Coach Trainers from the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, 21st Theater Support Command, as well as US Army Europe and the California Army National Guard.
The US Army Europe-led Rapid Trident is designed to promote regional stability and security, further strengthening international military partnering and building trust, while enhancing interoperability between participating nations.
The exercise was previously carried out under the name Peace Shield from 1998 to 2002.
Comprising multi-national academic course and situational and field training exercises, Rapid Trident 2012 had participation from around 1,400 personnel from 16 countries.
Image: Military personnel stand in formation during the opening ceremony for Exercise Rapid Trident 2013 at IPSC in Yavoriv, Ukraine. Photo: courtesy of Sgt Daniel Cole, US Army Europe public affairs.