NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.NY (10/02/2017) (readMedia)-- Two hundred and twenty New York Army National Guard Soldiers departed from Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station for a nine-month mission to train Ukrainian Soldiers on Monday afternoon, Oct. 2.
Most of the Soldiers come from the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry based at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The squadron also has units in Jamestown, Geneva, and Buffalo.
Other members of the team come from the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team headquarters in Syracuse and other National Guard units from across the state.
The New York Soldiers will become part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.
The training group is tasked with teaching tactics and staff work to five battalions of Ukrainian troops each year at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, near Yavoriv, Ukraine. A battalion is composed of approximately 600 Soldiers.
"This mission is a great reflection on the readiness and professionalism of our New York National Guard Soldiers," said Col. Dennis Deeley, commander of the training element.
"While this mission to provide training and support for Ukraine's armed forces supports our Army's engagement in Europe, our real success will be built on efforts of our Army Guard Soldiers and leaders who again answer the call," Deeley said.
The New York National Guard element flew to Fort Bliss, Texas on Monday. After inprocessing and conducting some initial training the Soldiers will fly to Germany for a month of training at the 7th Army Training Command's Grafenwoehr Training Area to prepare for their deployment to the Ukraine.
New York Army National Guard officers and non-commissioned officers skilled in mission planning and staff operations will teach and mentor the staffs of the Ukrainian units. Other non-commissioned officers and officers will work as observer/controllers conducting field exercises for maneuver companies.
The goal is to recreate the combat training center environment like those at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California or the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, at which U.S. Army units hone their skills before deployment.
Training for the Ukrainians will focus on defense and security missions. Other elements are working with the Ukrainian Army on a review and modernization of their doctrine.
Troops from Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom are also part of the training mission.
When the troops get to Germany they will report for specialized training delivered by the 7th Army Training Command. The Grafenwoehr training facility has been used to train American and allied Soldiers since the end of the Second World War.
The New York National Guard contingent will replace a team from the Oklahoma Army National Guard's 45th Brigade Combat Team that has been in the Ukraine since January this year.