FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, departed for Yavoriv, Ukraine, Feb. 10-14, in support of Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, or JMTG-U.
"Our role is to provide mission command for all 3rd Infantry Division forces that will be training the Ukrainian Army," said Lt. Col. Nathan Minami, commander of 3-15 Inf.
Minami said they will be focused on developing the Ukrainian army's ability to conduct defensive operations at a battalion level and defend the sovereignty of their nation.
The Soldiers of 3-15 Inf., whose motto is "Can do!," prepared for the mission by conducting numerous training events from battalion to division level, as well as a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana. The battalion's main training focus was performing combined arms maneuvers and wide area security operations.
"Our Soldiers are extremely prepared and ready to execute this mission," Minami said. "While we did get quick notice to deploy, we've been training hard for the last 18 months. We've been focused on making sure that we're trained, ready to deploy, fight and win wherever our nation needs us."
Equipment and vehicles to support the JMTG-U mission are being transported via vessel and fixed-wing aircraft.
"The battalion is moving about $25 million of equipment including weapons, vehicles, recovery assets, tools, essentially everything we will need to train with and sustain our small element in Ukraine," said Capt. Leslie McBride, commander of Company G, 3-15 Inf.
"We are going to work with several different countries," McBride continued. "Moving everything across continents and moving over borders with different laws is a challenge."
McBride added they were overcoming the challenge by working with State Customs Service Ukraine and U.S. Army Europe to ensure the equipment was moved across borders legally and expeditiously.
Leaders of 3-15 Inf. said they are motivated and ready to begin their mission.
"We're really excited because we're going to be able to work with our nation's strategic allies," Minami said. "We'll be able to share best practices, tactics, techniques, procedures and we'll have a lot of opportunities to learn from our allies, as well as our Ukrainian partners."