U.S. begins second phase of Ukrainian training, equipping mission
The United States has begun the second phase of its Fearless Guardian mission to train and equip Ukrainian forces, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told the reporters on Monday, according to the website of the U.S. Defense Department.
"This is part of our ongoing efforts to contribute to Ukraine's long-term military reform and professionalism, and to help improve Ukraine's internal defense capabilities and training capacity," Davis said at Pentagon.
The phase that began November 23 will train up to five battalions of Ukraine's Defense Ministry personnel and one battalion of special operations forces personnel, he said. Besides, the U.S. forces just completed training Ukrainian National Guard forces.
About 300 U.S. soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade are participating in the training, which is taking place in western Ukraine. NATO allies and other U.S. personnel are participating as well.
Read alsoAmerican paratroopers train Ukrainian national guardsmen in YavorivDavis said that in addition to the training, the United States will be working with the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on a training center and other institution-level development.
The Ministry of Defense training will be conducted at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center at Yavoriv, and the special operations forces training will be conducted in Khmelnitsky.
Read alsoFearless Guardian in Yavoriv: U.S. drills for national guard unitsThe United States has committed more than $265 million in equipment and training to the mission, Davis said.
The effort, which Congress approved in 2014, is to help Ukraine better monitor and secure its border, operate more safely and effectively, and preserve and enforce its territorial integrity, the spokesman said.