Exercise Rapid Trident
Rapid Trident is designed to promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity, and foster trust while improving interoperability between USAREUR, the land forces of Ukraine, and other PfP and NATO partner nations. Rapid Trident 2014 is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed, EUCOM scheduled, USAREUR conducted, Ukrainian led Situational and Field Training Exercise held at the International Peace Keeping and Security Center (IPSC) in Yavoriv, Ukraine. This year marked the 12th iteration of the Rapid Trident exercises. The exercise was conducted under the name “Peace Shield” from 1998 to 2002.
Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, US, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. 15 countries are taking part in the exercise with participation of approximately 1,300 personnel. RT14 will consist of a multinational battalion-level field training exercise. In preparation for the field training exercise, training audiences undergo one week of situational training exercises that focus on field training exercise key tasks such as countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations and patrolling. The exercise will feature a combined, internationally staffed battalion focused on peacekeeping and stability operations.
The Defense Department announced 1,300 personnel would take part, including 200 US soldiers. Participating nations' forces include Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the U.S. The Rapid Trident exercise comes at the explicit request of the Ukrainian government and military.
Exercise Rapid Trident, which launched 14 September 2014 and would go through September 26, was conducted near Yavoriv at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC), approximately 60 kilometers from the city of Lviv in western Ukraine. Even though the exercises are held annually, the deployment is the first involving US ground troops to Ukraine since the crisis began there earlier this year. The Pentagon says the objective of the exercise is to increase interoperability among the United States, Ukraine and other participating nations. The US military led this peacekeeping exercises in western Ukraine involving 15 nations, as President Barack Obama prepared to host Ukraine's leader for talks at the White House later in the week.
After two weeks of training, Exercise Rapid Trident 2013 officially ended July 19 with a closing ceremony at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center here. Approximately 1,300 soldiers from 17 nations came together July 8-19 to participate in the U.S. Army Europe-led, U.S. European Command Joint Training and Exercise Program event designed to enhance interoperability between forces and promote regional stability and security.
Soldiers from host nation Ukraine, along with forces from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S., participated in this year’s exercise. In the first week of the exercise, soldiers from each nation rotated through situational training exercises, honing small-unit tactics and exchanging techniques and methods with their multinational counterparts. Infantrymen trained on key tasks such as countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations and dismounted patrolling. Each of the situational training lanes was set up and run by a different partner nation, offering a broad range of expertise and giving participants a different perspective on tasks on which they may train routinely.
The diverse units were formed into a single multinational battalion during a field training exercise that involved conducting combined maneuver and wide-area security operations against an opposing force. The battalion was built around a Ukrainian airborne infantry battalion staff and augmented with multinational staff elements. Several of the companies combined one or more platoons from multiple nations. The multinational battalion received direction from the Ukrainian 95th Separate Airborne Brigade headquarters staff, allowing both staffs to conduct command post operations to stress their planning and execution capabilities.
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