GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — New York Army National Guard Soldiers from the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat team oversaw the training of 9,600 Ukrainian troops since taking charge of NATO’s Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine in August.
The 140 Soldiers, organized as Task Force Orion, were the command and administrative elements for the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JTMG-U).
Over nine months, Task Force Orion oversaw the U.S.-led training of Armed Forces of Ukraine soldiers on more than 15 systems and equipment. The New Yorkers also helped train more than eight Ukrainian battalion tactical groups in combined arms and joint maneuver, according to Army officials.
“The proof and the results are in the bravery and the actions of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who are accomplishing them on the battlefield,” said Col. William Murphy, task force commander.
On Apr. 28, Task Force Orion turned over the responsibility for the JTMG-U to a National Guard team from Arkansas during a ceremony in Grafenwoehr.
While the 27th is headquartered in Syracuse, it has units across the state and drew Soldiers from all these units for Task Force Orion.
Murphy turned over command of the training group to Col. Olen Bridges, commander of the Arkansas Army National Guard’s Task Force Bowie.
The New York Soldiers will return from Germany to Fort Bliss, Texas, for demobilization and then return home to airports across the state.
From April to December 2022, training focused on instructing Ukrainian military personnel to use the U.S. weapons systems and equipment sent to Ukraine.
Since January, training has included combined arms maneuver and staff training for Ukrainian battalions, brigades and corps.
Task forces assigned to the mission have worked with numerous U.S. military units, as well as allied and partner nations, to ensure the success of U.S.-led Ukrainian training in Germany.
“The one common thread that has run through all of this, that has united all of those organizations and linked them together with our Ukrainian counterparts, has been JMTG-U,” said Col. Stephen C. Marr, chief of staff of 7th Army Training Command.
The 27th Infantry Brigade is the only National Guard brigade to have twice contributed troops to the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.
Soldiers from the New York Army National Guard conducted training for Ukrainian troops, alongside other NATO soldiers, at the Yavoriv base from November 2017 to August 2018.
In January, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited the training site to observe Ukrainian soldiers training on the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
Gen. Dan Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visited the New York National Guard team in March and praised them for their efforts training Ukrainian troops.