YAVORIV, Ukraine-The Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine welcomed the 1st Battalion, 80th Airmobile Brigade of the Ukrainian Army and marked the start of their 55-day training rotation at an opening ceremony at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center Oct. 8.JMTG-U includes Soldiers from the California National Guard and Task Force Mustang from 6th squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in addition to multinational partners from Canada, Lithuania, Poland and Britain. JMTG-U is responsible for training Ukrainian land forces and building a team of Ukrainian cadre who will ultimately assume the responsibility.The training is designed to reinforce defensive skills of the Ukrainian Ground Forces in order to increase their capacity for self-defense.Col. Yevheniy Kurash, battalion commander of the 1-80th began his opening remarks by expressing the importance of the upcoming training his Soldiers will be receiving."Today we are at the opening ceremony of an important mission, in my opinion; it will raise the combat preparedness and levels of training of the 1st Battalion, 80th Brigade," he said.The Soldiers nine-week training regimen will begin with individual skills such as basic weapons training and combat lifesaving skills, and builds to collective skills training including a platoon live-fire and ultimately a battalion field training exercise."Training of such matters increases the experience and processes, which will make our unit a more combative one," said Kurash. "The operations conducted by this training group are a crucial part in Ukraine's defense and it will continue to be."JMTG-U Commander Col. Nick Ducich officially welcomed the fifth rotation of Ukrainian Soldiers to JMTG-U and the IPSC."I want to assure you that you're training goals are our goals," said Ducich. "I ask that each of you make the most of this opportunity to engage in that dialog with all the members of Task Force Mustang and develop those personal and professional relationships that strengthen our enduring partnership."Ducich concluded his speech by encouraging them to make the most of their training with multinational countries."From every member at JMTG-U, whether it is an American, Canadian, Lithuanian, Polish or British Soldier, I ask that you train hard, train safe and train to win," said Ducich.