Task Force Illini, multinational partners conduct planning course
By Shaylin QuaidAugust 14, 2020
YAVORIV, Ukraine -- Members of Task Force Illini, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Illinois Army National Guard, observed classes for the Military Decision Making Process instructed by Ukrainian Col. Gennadiy Kovalenko, Chief Instructor at Collective Training Center-Yavoriv, Ukraine, July 29-31.“MDMP is the military decision-making process. It is the way the Army prepares and plans operations,” said Lt. Col. Simon Wlodarski, Brigade Advisor Officer in Charge and resident of Arlington Heights, Illinois.Armed Forces Ukraine uses a similar approach regarding its planning and operations.“We’ve been learning the Ukrainian MDMP process. There are a few doctrinal differences,” Wlodarski said. “Overcoming those has been key and it’s been a fantastic opportunity to work with our counterparts.”“We received quite specific and effective comments from the American mentors,” Kovalenko said. “We had the opportunity to communicate with them, they made their statements and helped us to understand their decision-making processes. Officers from all sections were involved. The professionalism of American mentors was high, and the assistance was effective. We are grateful for the help.”For several Task Force Illini Soldiers, assuming responsibility of Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine is not the first time they have worked with multinational partners.“Illinois has been a state partner with Poland for the last 25 years. We’ve been fortunate enough to work with Ukraine as well as Lithuania and Poland in a multinational brigade, so we have experience working with Ukrainians before.” Wlodarski said.Task Force Illini members said Armed Forces Ukraine Soldiers are eager to learn best military practices from them.Kovalenko said the partnership with Task Force Illini will help his country’s military achieve its security and partnership goals.“It is the integration of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which is gradually moving to the NATO standard system of command and control. The integration of our armed forces into the NATO standard is important so that our military personnel, who communicate at a professional level, have the same understanding with other representatives of NATO countries, and that we are fully compatible with them,” Kovalenko said.Task Force Illini is the command element of Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, which is responsible for training, advising and mentoring the Ukrainian cadre at CTC-Y in order to improve Armed Forces Ukraine’s training capacity and defense capabilities.