US Army starts second phase of its Fearless Guardian mission in Ukraine

25 November 2015 (Last Updated November 25th, 2015 18:30)

The US has commenced the second phase of its Fearless Guardian mission to improve defensive capabilities and training capacity of the Ukrainian armed forces.

The US has commenced the second phase of its Fearless Guardian mission to improve defensive capabilities and training capacity of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Fearless Guardian II will consist of training up to five battalions of ministry of defence personnel and one battalion of special operations forces personnel.

The training focuses on partnering at the battalion-level and below, and building professional and capable Ukrainian units to defend the country.

"The JMTG-U training programme is part of ongoing efforts to contribute to Ukraine's long-term military reform and professionalism."

The second phase of its Fearless Guardian also marks the start of combined training between soldiers from the Joint Multinational Training Group, Ukraine (JMTG-U), Ukrainian Land Forces and Ukrainian Special Operations forces.

The JMTG-U training programme is part of ongoing efforts to contribute to Ukraine's long-term military reform and professionalism.

The Ukrainian Land Forces will receive medical training in combat lifesaver and casualty evacuation, counter-unmanned aerial vehicle tactics training, counter-improvised explosive device training, cordon and knock / search training.

The special operations training will include advanced individual techniques such as advanced land navigation and advanced marksmanship, as well as work to enhance leadership capabilities in risk management and troop leading procedures.

The training sessions are expected to be completed by November 2016.

During the first phase, the US forces trained three battalions of Ministry of Interior, or national guard, soldiers from April to November.

About 300 US soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will be training the Ukrainian forces in Western Ukraine.

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said that the US has committed more than $265m in equipment and training towards the mission.