UK Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed that the country’s military personnel are set to participate in a multinational training exercise in Ukraine.
Code-named Rapid Trident 2015, the US and Ukraine-led exercise aims to promote regional stability and security, strengthen Ukraine’s defensive capacity and build trust between the participating countries.
The exercise is scheduled to start on 20 July and seeks to boost the ability of Ukraine and partner nations to conduct joint operations, in addition to develop the capacity of partners in Eastern Europe to contribute to international peacekeeping missions.
Approximately 50 soldiers, comprising a Battle Group headquarters staff and an infantry platoon from 1st Battalion The Rifles, will be deployed to provide vital training and contribute to the mission command headquarters.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "This underlines our commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and our other Eastern European partners.
"Alongside my recent announcement that we are stepping up our training of Ukrainian forces and our delivery of crucial equipment, it sends a clear message that we stand firm with Ukraine in the face of aggression."
During the first phase of the exercise, the British troops will train partner nations’ soldiers in essential tactics, such as reacting to contact with enemy forces.
The Battle Group Headquarters staff will also contribute to a command post exercise, evaluating the ability of commanders to lead operations alongside soldiers and officers from other countries.
The second phase will see the UK soldiers participate in a number of joint field training exercises to test and evaluate the skills shared in the first phase, while Battle Group Headquarters staff will form part of a US-led battalion headquarters.
Apart from developing the participant’s capacity to participate in international peacekeeping operations, the skills being shared are claimed to be essential tasks for any defence force as they will need to protect themselves and personnel under their protection.
Image: UK soldiers from The Light Dragoons during Exercise Rapid Trident 2014 in Ukraine. Photo: courtesy of UK Ministry of Defence / Crown copyright.