CAF to Train Ukrainian Battalion Tactical Group for First Time

Ukrainian Armed Forces member fires a PK machine gun in a simulated training counter attack near Starychi, Ukraine during Operation Unifier on November 30, 2017. Corporal Andrew Kelly, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

NP-UN National Affairs Desk.

As part of Canada’s ongoing commitment to support Ukraine, the Canadian Armed Forces will temporarily increase the number of trainers in the country in order to assist in the training of a Battalion Tactical Group of Ukrainian troops, reported a National Defence media release on January 26.

That day, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members arrived at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Starychi, Ukraine.

This represents the largest Canadian contingent since the start of Operation Unifier to help train and mentor the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

“This increase of CAF trainers demonstrates Canada’s enduring commitment to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. This training assistance builds on previous support by our Government and will bolster Ukraine’s efforts to maintain its sovereignty, security, and stability,” stated Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.

This news was welcomed by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

“Since 2014, Ukraine’s military has undergone profound transformation. Due in part to the training by Canada and allied nations, today the Ukrainian army is an effective and battle-ready fighting force. In turn, Canada and allied nations are learning valuable lessons from their Ukrainian counterparts,” stated Paul Grod, National President of the UCC on January 29. “The deployment of this surge team of 48 CAF members to Operation Unifier is an important step in the process of strengthening Ukraine’s defence capabilities. The UCC commends the Government of Canada for its continuing commitment to the Ukrainian people.”

The surge team comprises a total of 48 CAF members from infantry, artillery, armored and logistical corps, increasing Canada’s presence to approximately 240 personnel for the duration of the temporary increase.

The duration of the temporary increase to the training team is approximately 60 days.

The training provided by the CAF, in coordination with our allies, contributes to enhancing the Armed Forces of Ukraine self-sufficiency in training delivery and their ability to conduct military operations across the full spectrum of conflict.

By participating in this training mission, the CAF is helping to develop the professionalism and modernization of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, supporting Ukrainian aspirations to achieve military compatibility with NATO by 2020.

Since August 2015, the CAF has deployed approximately 200 CAF personnel on a rotating basis to Ukraine and will continue to do so until the end of March 2019. More than 5 000 Armed Forces of Ukraine candidates have participated in the training.