YAVORIV, Ukraine - Showcasing an ability to jointly and operationally flex in a dynamic environment— to leverage multinational cooperation and insert ground forces both rapidly and appropriately in response to a potential crisis anywhere in the world— U.S. Army Europe and Africa successfully organized and helped execute a massive and complex multinational exercise at the largest training area in Ukraine, the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre near Yavoriv.
To strengthen allied and partner nations’ capacities to more effectively defend themselves, about 300 U.S. Soldiers worked tactically alongside about 6,000 multinational troops from 15 nations under the banner of Partnership for Peace, a cooperative program for NATO and Euro-Atlantic partner countries, Sept. 20 - Oct. 1.
"While this is a tactical-level exercise, there are strategic implications to what we have accomplished as we have worked side by side," said U.S. Army Col. Michael Hanson, co-director of Rapid Trident 21 from the U.S. Army. "As every member of NATO understands, a strong national defense and security system doesn’t require the newest technology or billions of dollars to fund the largest military in the region. A strong national defense system requires human, procedural, and technical interoperability with your partners to provide joint security and mutual assurance."
The purpose of the Ukrainian-American exercise was to train combat-credible Army forces in Europe, enhance readiness and build interoperability through a brigade-level computer-assisted exercise with platoon-level maneuver training. The exercise also combined a brigade-level field training exercise with security and stability operations.
Rapid Trident 21 continued more than 25 years of partnership between the U.S. and Ukraine. Through efforts such as Rapid Trident 21 and Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, the U.S. Army supports ongoing training efforts and enhanced defensive capabilities of Ukraine. Rapid Trident 21 was the final training phase, or culminating event, of an intense and realistic annual training exercise to prepare Ukrainian Land Force units for the challenges of real-world situations and deployments.
JMTG-U, which trains, equips, provides training center development and doctrinal assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces, is currently manned by Task Force Raven, 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Washington Army National Guard, and overseen by 7th Army Training Command at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.
To increase combat readiness, defense capabilities and interoperability, the exercise featured joint jumps of Ukrainian, Polish and U.S. paratroopers.
About 160 paratroopers completed the multinational airborne operation at 1,200 feet in a C-130 aircraft with U.S. Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 173rd Airborne Brigade (Sky Soldiers) leading the jump and training prior to the jump.
"This entire operation required coordination when addressing logistical and operational components on both the front and backside of the operation," said U.S. Army Capt. Jonathan Reimer, Alpha Company commander, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade, in regard to the multinational jump. "Specifically, development of the ground tactical plan was a joint endeavor and resulted in an operational plan that was understood and able to be rapidly executed by all forces on the objective."
The joint Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade also worked to plan, execute and participate in Rapid Trident 21. LitPolUkr forms into a single unit for operations and exercises such as Rapid Trident with a mission set of taking part in peacekeeping operations, helping strengthen regional military cooperation and helping dynamically and appropriately adapt its armed forces.
"We managed to successfully complete the given mission of our multinational unit," said Ukrainian Land Forces 1st Lt. Dmytro Kapitula, Air Assault Company commander, 13th Battalion, 95th Airborne Assault Brigade, Air Assault Command and LitPolUkr. "We had a goal before ourselves. It's a mutual understanding, interchangeability and interoperability between us and our partners both during the planning process and out in the field. Mainly the joint planning of the operation let us successfully complete the set mission."
The nations involved in the exercise were: Ukraine, U.S., Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, Pakistan, The Republic of Poland, Romania, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
To read and view more Rapid Trident content: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/RapidTrident
To learn more about U.S. Army Europe and Africa: https://www.europeafrica.army.mil/