YAVORIV, Ukraine - Ukraine's Minister of Defence and General of the Army, Stepan Poltorak; California National Guard's Brig. Gen. Kelly Fisher; and many other international military delegates gathered around the Simulation Centre to officially open the new training facility as part of Rapid Trident 17 Sept. 15, 2017.
During the two-week training exercise, the Simulation Centre will house a multinational, brigade-level, computer-assisted command-post exercise integrated with a battalion-level field training exercise and platoon-level situational training exercises. Formally opening this advanced training facility will allow participating nations to execute a variety of multifaceted training to increase unit readiness.
"To all the partner nations that are here today, we have gathered in a very prominent place, at a very prominent training facility and indeed, this is a very special occasion," Gen. Poltorak expressed to the crowd of distinguished visitors and local media.
"The Ukrainian Armed Forces have to fulfill a number of objectives, and one of those objectives was to build an infrastructure to ensure all service members in the Ukrainian Armed Forces receive quality training," he added.
Ensuring that standard is met, this year's exercise will focus on defensive operations while validating the third rotation of Ukrainian soldiers participating in the training under the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine program.
Following the cutting of the ribbon and a tour of the facility, the opening ceremony ended with soldiers from Canada, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and the United States receiving awards from Ukraine's Minister of Defence for their outstanding achievements while supporting the JMTG-U program.
Prior to the opening ceremony at the International Peacekeeping Security Centre in Yavoriv, Ukraine, the distinguished visitors got the opportunity to observe Ukrainian soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 95th Airborne Brigade; 1st Mechanized Battalion, 30th Mechanized Brigade; and Ukrainian soldiers with the special operation forces conduct several tactical demonstrations.
The first combat scenario opened with an intense convoy ambush by Ukraine's special forces assets that ended with an aerial evacuation. Following the initial demonstration, the large crowd of distinguished visitors relocated and viewed an assault on an enemy position, and vehicle decontamination procedures that culminated with a Ukraine soldiers defending and counter-attacking opposition forces.
"I was incredibly impressed with the demonstrations I saw today," said Fisher. "It's obvious that they're extremely well-versed and well-rehearsed in doing the tactics that they showcased. Starting with the convoy ambush, that was impressive, especially considering the obstacles that were a part of that scenario."
These scenarios showcased the combat capabilities that Ukrainian forces have trained on at Yavoriv Combat Training Center, with the support of Partnership for Peace nations and several NATO member nations.