UK extends Operation Orbital training mission to Ukraine

6 November 2019 (Last Updated November 6th, 2019 11:19)

The UK Ministry of Defence has announced that the UK will continue its military training mission in Ukraine for an additional three years.

The UK Ministry of Defence has announced that the UK will continue its military training mission in Ukraine for an additional three years.

The latest extension will see the UK continue the training mission Operation Orbital, until March 2023.

Beginning in 2015, Operation Orbital involves training the Ukrainian armed forces in the identification of mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), medical care, infantry skills, and logistics.

Training was expanded last year to include anti-armour, counter-sniping and mortar planning.

Under the programme, more than 17,500 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been trained so far.

In September last year, the training mission was extended by two years to 2020.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “My recent visit to the Donbas region made clear not only the costs inflicted by Russian-backed separatists, but also the resolve the Ukrainian Armed Forces have demonstrated in defending their territorial integrity.

“That is why we are extending our training mission to Ukraine for another three years, so we may train thousands more Ukrainian personnel and continue to make a difference.”

In the recent meeting with his counterpart Andriy Zagorodniuk, Wallace also reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Joint Force Operation Commander lieutenant general Volodymyr Kravchenko briefed the Defence Secretary on the situation in the Donbas region.

The UK deployed training teams from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines last year to deliver training to the Ukrainian Navy.

The training covered areas such as ship navigation, firefighting and damage repair.