The UK training programme for the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) will be extended for another year to ensure more members of the UAF benefit from UK Armed Forces’ training, the Defence Secretary has announced today.
As Ukraine continues to deal with an assertive and provocative Russia, Sir Michael Fallon confirmed that British personnel will now be deployed in the country until early 2018, continuing to provide defensive training to the UAF. This includes the identification of mines and other Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), life-saving first aid, logistics and operational planning.
The Defence Secretary also confirmed that the British forces currently based in the country are due to exceed their training target and by March 2017 are expected to have trained over 5,000 members of the UAF, over 1,000 more than initially planned.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
Britain is stepping up in Europe and around the world. Extending British training of Ukrainian Armed Forces sends a clear message that we support Ukraine and remain firmly committed to its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, in the face of a more belligerent Russia. This extension will ensure thousands more Ukrainian troops get first rate training from the best armed forces in the world.
Training teams from across the British Army have been deployed to Ukraine since 2015, with 1 Mercian currently providing the majority of this activity until the end of this year.
The UK coordinates the training it provides to the UAF with four other nations as part of the QUINT. This is made up of the UK, USA, Canada, Lithuania and Poland.
The UK also provides a senior adviser to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence and gifted over £1 million worth of non-lethal equipment to Ukraine, including first aid kits and cold weather clothing to strengthen their defensive capability and increase their resilience.
There are currently over 4,500 UK personnel deployed on around 25 operations around the world.