YAVORIV, Ukraine - Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, partnered with and trained Ukrainian army soldiers on defensive artillery tactics culminating with a mortar live-fire exercise March 19, 2016 at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center.
The live-fire exercise was conducted after weeks of classes and practical exercises as part of rotation two of Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.
Leading the training was Capt. Dave Carter, 3-15 Infantry fire support officer, who stressed the importance of all the previous training that had led to this point of the total 55-day rotation.
"The first week we focused on individual tasks and then the last two weeks we went over some of the same tactics and techniques that we do with our mortar crews in the U.S. We taught bore-sighting, aiming circle and crew drills. Everything we taught them, they're putting to use today," said Capt. Dave Carter, 3-15 Infantry fire support officer.
The artillery program of instruction taught by the 3-15 Infantry instructors is dynamic and develops accordingly based off input from experiences and standard practices of the Ukrainian army.
"It's definitely been a learning experience for us. I've never worked with a mortar system like this. It's a combination of a mortar and howitzer system. We've had to learn their tactics, techniques and procedures and show them ours. We allow them to adjust if they want to for whatever they think will work for them. We're not forcing them to utilize everything we show them, but they have implemented some of the things we've shown them," said Carter.
Throughout the day's training the Ukrainian mortar crews practiced on refining their accuracy and speed.
Going forward, the artillery training will increase in complexity ultimately resulting in setting up and executing a battery-level defense.