LVIV, Ukraine -- Since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in March of 2014 and continued support to Ukrainian separatists (to include the deployment of Russian troops and equipment on Ukrainian soil), building security and self-defense capacity of Ukrainian Land Forces has taken center stage as the nation's priority.

Towards this end, the Joint Multinational Training Group -- Ukraine, or JMTG-U, has the unique responsibility of assisting in strengthening Ukrainian Land Forces interoperability and training capacity.

JMTG-U also works to facilitate Ukraine's long-term military reform efforts. Working alongside the International Peacekeeping and Security Center at the 184th Training Center in Yavoriv near Lviv, JMTG-U is comprised of British, Canadian, Lithuanian and U.S. forces.

Currently, JMTG-U is actively engaged in training Ukrainian battalions to conduct anti-terrorism operations and improving overall readiness of these units.

In support of these efforts, staff from U.S. Army Europe's Office of the Inspector General visited met with JMTG-U leadership, Jan. 27-29.

The purpose of the visit was to support the JMTG-U in assessing trained units that have completed their rotation through the IPSC, then feeding those assessments back into JMTG-U in order to improve future training.

To spearhead the assessment collection process, the USAREUR IG turned to its good partners in the Ukrainian IG.

Both IGs have similar functions, one of which is conducting inspections to provide assessments on readiness to their respective commanders.

Several meetings were conducted between Ukrainian Maj. Gen. Ihor Tymoshenko, inspector general, Ukrainian Land Forces, and Col. David Carstens, command IG, USAREUR, aimed at establishing and sustaining this process.

Additionally, the USAREUR and Ukrainian IGs conducted a combined inspection of the support facilities used by JMTG-U. This inspection included sensing sessions and interviews with 173rd Airborne Brigade Soldiers deployed to Lviv as part of the multi-national training mission.

Finally, the USAREUR IG Team met with Ukrainian Lt. Gen. Pavel Tkachuk, chief of Ukraine's National Army Academy.

Tkachuk praised the efforts of U.S. instructors and trainers at the JMTG-U saying that the training effort was key to the future of the Ukrainian Land Forces.

Ukrainian support, a valuable NATO partner, is essential in deterring future Russian aggression in Europe. In doing so, even the inspector general continues to play an important role.

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