By 2nd Lt. Kealy MoriartyOctober 12, 2018
YAVORIV, Ukraine - Tennessee Army National Guardsmen, along with Canadian, Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian Soldiers spoke with university students on the dynamics of working in a multinational environment, here, Oct. 10.
These Ukrainian students, who are majoring in international relations, held a panel with representative Soldiers from each country and discussed a variety of topics regarding their deployment to the Yavoriv Combat Training Center in Ukraine.
"I have been here since July, and as far as our experience with the Ukrainian Army goes, they have been very professional and very knowledgeable," stated Maj. Wes Wingo, an American mentor at the YCTC. "We've learned a lot from them, and it really has been an opportunity for us to exchange ideas."
"We've been very impressed with their professionalism and have enjoyed working and mentoring alongside one another," states Wingo.
When asked what they do here outside of work, the Soldiers answered on the importance of communicating home with their loved ones and discussed the numerous multinational sporting tournaments held at the training center. Currently, there have been friendly tournaments held for soccer, football, ping-pong, and volleyball.
"Of course, we miss home, and it is important for you to take time out of your day and communicate to your families back home, but we signed up to do this; we are happy to be here, happy to help and hope to learn a lot more from each other," stated Maj. Aaron Cox, an American mentor at the YCTC. "For fun, we like to stay active and include everyone here to participate in sporting tournaments; it is a fantastic way to get to know one another, and it creates friendly rivalry here on base."
After the Soldiers discussed the sporting tournaments hosted at the training center, they examined the dynamics of working with each other.
"Being able to work with a multinational organization has been a great experience, especially for our younger Soldiers and junior leaders who have not yet had the opportunity to deploy overseas," stated Cox. "Every nation represented here has been able to learn so much from each other; the professionalism and camaraderie shared by everyone here, not only in the training environment but also in social gatherings and intramural athletics on the training grounds, has been exceptional, to say the least."
Not only do Soldiers routinely work together they also host events at the training center. In the past, the Polish held Polish Armed Forces Day, Canada hosted a race, and the U.S. will host a Halloween Fall Festival.
"I've greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with our international partners and allies," said Wingo. "It sets the stage for exchanging ideas with fellow professionals on how we do things."
"We learn to look at things differently which ultimately helps us all grow," stated Wingo.
The 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment from the Tennessee Army National Guard, along with Canadian, Polish, and Lithuanian counterparts are deployed to Ukraine and supporting the development of the Ukrainian combat training center in Yavoriv.