By Sgt. A.M. LaVeySeptember 21, 2015
VICENZA, Italy - Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade completed an 1850-kilometer convoy from Italy to Yavoriv, Ukraine, in support of Operation Fearless Guardian, Sept. 11, 2015.
"The convoy demonstrates the effectiveness of the cooperation between the 173rd Abn. Bde. and our European allies and partners," said Capt. Joshua Gilly, the transportation planner for the 173rd Airborne Brigade Support Battalion. "The long drive from Italy to Ukraine would not be possible without allied assistance - it's been truly a multinational effort."
This convoy, the third in support of paratroopers deployed to Fearless Guardian, the training of Ukraine's newly-formed national guard, syncs with the beginning of third training rotation by the 173rd.
Along the route, the paratroopers met with host-nation officials and engaged with the local populace.
"It was nice to meet people on the way, people seemed happy to see us," said 2nd Lt. Amanda Dolsen, the convoy commander. "I was excited to meet with Ukrainians, who were excited that we are contributing to the efforts for a better Ukraine."
Fearless Guardian is the name for the congressionally-approved, Departments of State and Defense initiative under the Global Security Contingency Fund-Ukraine. The paratroopers are in Ukraine at the request of the Ukrainian government to train several battalions of the newly-established Ukrainian national guard. The training is scheduled to last until November.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the U.S. Army Contingency in Europe and is ready and able to project forces anywhere in the U.S. European, Central and Africa Commands areas of responsibility.