By Capt. Russell GordonMarch 21, 2016
YAVORIV, Ukraine - Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division trained Ukrainian army soldiers on the military decision-making process culminating with a week-long practical exercise March 14-19, 2016 at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center.
The training allowed Ukrainian army staff officers and noncommissioned officers to become familiar with the U.S. Army's analytical approach to problem solving and to accomplish the task of developing Ukrainian staff company-grade officers while simultaneously increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of NCOs.
To accomplish the training objectives, Ukrainian officers and noncommissioned officers were separated during individual-level training weeks prior to the practical exercise. The officers participated in two weeks of professional development classes taught by company-grade officers of 3-15 Infantry. The topics included were mission command, troop-leading procedures, intelligence preparation of the battlefield, tactics and engagement area development.
"The block of instruction during the classes gave us and our Ukrainian counterparts the opportunity to learn from each other's tactics, techniques, and procedures and forge strong partnerships through one on one development," said 1st Lt. Tim Endicott, executive officer Charlie Company, 3-15 Infantry.
Following the officer training, the leaders of 3-15 Infantry focused on training the Ukrainian NCOs. The goal of the NCO individual training was to enable them to take an active responsible role in training soldiers and to build a mutual trust with their officers.
During the third week of training, it was time to put everything together for the practical exercise. The Ukrainian battalion staff received a brigade operations and began planning. The staff went through each step of the military decision-making process and concluded with a combined arms rehearsal.
"Our Ukrainian partners are doing an exceptional job of applying methods of planning and executing operations that are very new to them. They are learning to incorporate the mission command philosophy into planning and becoming more flexible in their approach," said Maj. Ryan Riggin, battalion executive officer, 3-15 Infantry.
Over the next two weeks, the Ukrainian staff will conduct two more practical exercises followed by a command-post exercise and battalion field-training exercise which will serve as the staff's final culminating event.