More than 1,800 military personnel from 18 different countries have begun a multi-national exercise, code-named Rapid Trident 2015, at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Yavoriv, Ukraine.
Led by the US Army Europe, the cooperative training exercise is focused on peacekeeping and stability operations, and is a part of a US European Command joint exercise programme designed to enhance joint combined interoperability with allied and partner nations.
Participating nations include Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey, as well as Ukraine and the US.
Conducted at the request of the Ukrainian Government and military, the exercise aims to boost interoperability and military-to-military relationships between land forces of the US and Ukraine and other participating Nato / Partnership for Peace nations, while assisting Ukraine's efforts to develop interoperable and fully deployable units.
US Army Europe G3 for operations assessments chief colonel Alfred Rienzi said: "Over the past year, Ukraine has gone to great effort, during these difficult times, to set the conditions for high-quality training.
"Supported by dedicated professionals from our allies, we are all poised to execute a premier event, which is far bigger and more ambitious this year, both here in Yavoriv, and connected to distant training centres."
The exercise aims to boost defence modernisation, as well as continuing efforts to bring US / Nato standardisation to the Ukrainians.
Ukrainian military academy deputy chief colonel Alexandr Sivak said: "Our exercise has attracted the attention not only of military experts but the whole Ukrainian society and the international community - all those who are sincerely worried about the restoration of peace and territorial integrity of our state, establishment of effective mechanisms, and guarantees for the inviolability of the principles of peaceful coexistence in the modern world."
To prepare for the field exercise, training audiences will undergo one week of situational training exercises that focus on medical and casualty evacuation procedures, countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations, and patrolling.
The exercise will feature a combined, internationally-staffed brigade focused on peacekeeping and stability operations.
Image: Exercise Rapid Trident 2015 features more than 1,800 service members from 18 different nations. Photo: courtesy of US Army.