Operation UNIFIER Personnel Completes Training of Fourth Ukrainian Infantry Company

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Article / September 29, 2016

By: Joint Task Force – Ukraine  Public Affairs

A graduation parade for the soldiers of 1st Battalion, 93rd Ukrainian Mechanized Brigade in Starychi, Ukraine on September 23, 2016, marked the completion of another 55-day Small Team Training course instructed by members of Joint Task Force – Ukraine (JTF-U).

“We were all very impressed by 2nd Company and the Specialist Platoons throughout the entire training period,” said Major Andy Mitton, the Canadian officer in charge of Small Team Training. “Their motivation and dedication to training was truly inspiring.  Moreover, their combat veterans had a wealth of knowledge and taught us likely as much as we taught them. It was a real privilege working with them all and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”

This course, which began in July 25, 2016, was the fourth iteration instructed by Canadian soldiers since the beginning of Operation UNIFIER in August 2015.  It is a key Canadian contribution to Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine. This multinational effort sees Canadians train a company of Ukrainian soldiers while their American colleagues train the other two companies of the battalion at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Starychi, Ukraine.

The training package continuously builds in complexity, starting with individual weapons skills and progressing through pairs, section, platoon, and company movements up to the culmination of the course in battalion level drills. Other important training topics include navigation, mine and improvised explosive device awareness, and combat first aid, among others.

“The training was very helpful in developing my unit,” said Ukrainian Senior Lieutenant Bannik Artium, the officer in charge of troops who were trained by Canadians. “We have many new members to the company, so this provided a good environment to bring us all together before deploying to the operations zone.”

Roughly 85 Canadian soldiers are directly involved in Small Team Training, which represents the largest training initiative by personnel under Operation UNIFIER. To date, some 520 Ukrainian soldiers have now completed the 55-day block under Canadian instruction.

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