Ukraine, U.S. Forces train for urban operations
By Cpl. Shaylin Quard, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat TeamOctober 1, 2020
YAVORIV, Ukraine -- Armed Forces Ukraine Soldiers honed their urban operations skills as Task Force Illini advisors lent their expertise at Combat Training Center- Yavoriv, Ukraine, Sept. 30.Urban operations include fighting block-to-block in a large population center, tactically entering residences and buildings, traffic control, and house-to-house searches.“With our foreign partners we conducted exercises together and exchanged our experiences,” said Ukrainian Army Sr. Lt. Dmytro Suhai. “On each phase of the exercise, beginning from the preparation and conducting after action reviews, our foreign colleagues made corrections and gave guidance.”U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Nickels has participated in numerous Cordon-and-Search operations and patrols in urban environments on previous mobilizations to Iraq, he also trained several thousand Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers in urban operations tasks.“The 59th Separate Motorifle Brigade has trained diligently to improve their urban operations proficiency. Urban operations takes extensive training to master, however, they are making quick progress,” said Nickels. “From my conversations with Armed Forces Ukraine Soldiers, urban operations have been a big part of their current conflict in the past and may be again in the future.”Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) training is one of the last exercises in the 59th’s seven-week training rotation to CTC-Y.“CTC-Y has the best MOUT training facilities that I have seen in my nearly 18-year Army career,” said Nickels. “They built the main MOUT site and installed closed-circuit cameras everywhere, which allows the unit to view themselves from the outside and make improvements.”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 Combat Training Center-Yavoriv, Ukraine, in order to improve Armed Forces Ukraine’s training capacity and defense capabilities.