Show of strength of US-Ukraine partnership | ‘Rapid Trident’
Rapid Trident 2020 International Exercise Will Strengthen Ukrainian Army Combatability and NATO Compliance
KIEV – Ukraine intends to “as quickly as possible” achieve interoperability of the Armed Forces with the relevant structures of the Alliance states, as well as intensify reforms that will allow it to receive an invitation and join the NATO Membership Action Plan. This was stated by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a speech at the opening of the Ukrainian-American command post exercise Rapid Trident – 2020 in the Lviv region.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that “these exercises are not only another stage in improving military skills, but also an important step towards the Euro-Atlantic integration of the state,” the press service of the President of Ukraine reported on September 17.
“I am confident that the Ukrainian military will also pass on to international colleagues the unique combat experience they have acquired since the beginning of the war in 2014. In addition, the exercises will make relations between the military of the participating countries even stronger and more friendly, “he said..
Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked all the participants in the exercises and international partners for their continued support of Ukraine and assistance to strengthen the combat capability of the Ukrainian army, and noted that Rapid Trident – 2020 “will strengthen the operational capabilities of our troops, improve the level of interoperability between the units and headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the United States and others. members and partners of NATO “.
“I believe that Rapid Trident – 2020 will help each of you improve your skills and abilities, will become a good foundation and incentive for your future service,” the President of Ukraine summed up.
He also noted that the achievement of peace in Donbass, the return of all Ukrainian citizens and all territories is and will be his priority..
As the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andriy Taran said during the opening ceremony of the exercises, the military exercises Rapid Trident – 2020 demonstrate the implementation of the measures of the Ukraine-NATO annual national program, are a continuation of the implementation of a set of measures for defense reform in Ukraine..
“Rapid Trident exercises are aimed at training Ukrainian servicemen in various military specialties according to NATO standards with the help of foreign instructors from the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Lithuania and Poland. They take into account the activities of the Joint Multinational Training Group – “Ukraine” (JMTG-U) and are designed to improve interaction between the armed forces of the United States, Ukraine and NATO, as well as the countries participating in the program. "Partnership for Peace"”, – said Andrey Taran, the press service of the Ministry of Defense reported on September 17.
The Ukrainian-American command post exercise Rapid Trident – 2020 is a continuation of the series of exercises “Shield of Peace”, which began in 1995 in the framework of bilateral cooperation between the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Guard of California (USA), with the wide involvement of representatives of the armed forces of other countries.
In 2020, 4,013 military personnel from Ukraine, the USA, Great Britain, Lithuania, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Poland, and Romania are taking part in the exercises. The exercises will last from 16 to 25 September.
Rapid Trident: City Combat Training
The ArmyInform website (armyinform.com.ua) reports on September 17 that one of the first training tasks that the participants of the maneuvers worked out was “conducting hostilities in an urbanized area.”.
“"Fight in the city" Is a real city in miniature. […] An easy assault did not work, because specially trained fighters of the unit of designation of practical actions of the enemy, the so-called OPFOR, counteracted the motorized infantry fighters, ”the message says..
Major Evgeny Zvorikin, a participant in the battle in the city, commander of a motorized infantry battalion, noted that “international exercises are an additional way to gain new knowledge and skills.”.
Although his subordinates have enough motivation and real combat experience, the overwhelming majority of the battalion’s fighters are participants in the Russian-Ukrainian war..
The exercise is unique, but cooperation with NATO needs to be expanded
Political scientist Oleg Ponomar notes that the Rapid Trident exercises are unique in their significance and the duration of Ukraine’s participation in them.
“Ukraine has been taking part in them for decades and this fact has become unique and symbolic in itself. Against the background of all the negative news that is going on today, namely the disagreements with the IMF, the attack on the National Bank, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, the SAP, the news of Ukraine’s stable participation in Rapid Trident and other exercises with NATO countries is a small bright spot. Although it is clear that the plans for these exercises were written long ago and for years to come, so that Ukraine continues its Euro-Atlantic movement by inertia, “Oleg Ponomar told the Voice of America correspondent..
He believes that “without any doubt, Ukraine needs to expand the program of cooperation with NATO”, as Russia continues its aggressive and imperial policy.
“The course towards NATO is enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine, and it must be implemented. And it is very good that in June Ukraine received a new status in NATO – a partner with expanded capabilities and joined Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan and Sweden, which have this status, ”emphasizes Oleg Ponomar.
He recalls that today’s cooperation with NATO is the embodiment of developments along the Ukraine-Alliance line over the past five years..
On a “clear” policy of cooperation with NATO
Chairman of the Public League Ukraine – NATO Sergey Dzherdzh notes that international exercises make it possible to increase the compatibility of the Ukrainian army with NATO forces.
“This is a new experience and the involvement of other countries in our problems, but they should not only be ours, because the Ukrainian-Russian war is going against international norms, the strategy of global disarmament. We need an international anti-Kremlin coalition against the background of what Putin allows himself – poisoning people, interfering in the affairs of other countries such as Belarus, ”Sergei Dzherdzh told the Voice of America correspondent.
“This cooperation with NATO is important for us. The maneuvers strengthen our security, and the presence of American ships in the Black Sea, the overflight of American bombers over Ukraine is what is necessary for the development of the Euro-Atlantic vector of cooperation, ”says Serhiy Dzherj.
At the same time, he points out that in some cases one can notice the “incomprehensible policy” that is being formed today in the Office of the President and extends to other sectors of Ukrainian statehood..
“If it is not clear whether we are really continuing planning and cooperation with NATO at a new stage, then such a policy may undermine the foundations of statehood,” sums up Sergei Dzherj.