US and Ukrainian soldiers complete second rotation of Operation Fearless Guardian

13 September 2015 (Last Updated September 13th, 2015 18:30)

Paratroopers from the US Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade have completed the second rotation of an initiative to train and equip the newly formed Ukrainian National Guard.

soldiers

Paratroopers from the US Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade have completed the second rotation of an initiative to train and equip the newly formed Ukrainian National Guard.

Dubbed Fearless Guardian, the congressionally-approved, Departments of State and Defense initiative under the Global Security Contingency Fund-Ukraine, aims to train several battalions of the national guard over six months.

The second rotation concluded with the graduation of more than 200 Ukrainian National Guard personnel at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Yavoriv, Ukraine.

During the eight weeks of training, the paratroopers trained Ukrainian personnel in individual soldier skills including movement techniques, marksmanship skills and first aid.

The soldiers then advanced to squad and platoon-level exercises with the use of live ammunition, requiring the guardsmen to work together.

Company B commander captain Zachary Savarie, 2nd Battalion said: "The Ukrainian national guard have proven themselves to be competent and capable.

"The training and hard work has paid off. The guardsmen are ready to do what their country asks of them."

The training culminated with a two-day field exercise featuring a fictitious scenario, which tested the guardsmen on every level.

"The training and hard work has paid off. The guardsmen are ready to do what their country asks of them."

Preparation for Fearless Guardian's third rotation has already started as the guardsmen prepared to leave and a new company of US paratroopers from the brigade arrived from Vicenza, Italy, to train the next iteration.

Operation Fearless Guardian began in April with focus on defensive and civil military operations, including instruction on how to shoot, how to move, how to communicate and other individual soldier skills.

The programme also includes medical training, casualty evacuation, counter-unmanned-aerial-vehicle tactics, counter-insurgency training, as well as counter-improvised-explosive-device training.

In addition, human rights and use-of-force training is undertaken, alongside common soldier and collective tasks such as individual conduct and law of war, first aid, survival, land navigation, communication, unit operations, as well as counter-chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training.


Image: More than 200 Ukrainian National Guard soldiers from the Kiev and Kharkov regions graduated in the second rotation of Fearless Guardian. Photo: courtesy of US Army.