News: Rapid Trident training kicks off with opening ceremony
Story by Spc. Nevada Jack Smith
CENTRAL CITY, Ukraine — Each year soldiers from North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries participate in a multi-national training mission as part of a Partnership for Peace exercise in the Ukraine. This mission, which lasts a little over two weeks, is put on annually to promote friendship and build inter-continental communication skills while cross training between the various countries' militaries.
On Sept. 6, at the Central City training base located near Lviv, Ukraine, the exercise got its eagerly awaited start with the official exercise commencement ceremony. The official party arrived and the co-directors of the ceremony, Ukrainian Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav M.Nazarkin, and Brig. Gen. Charlotte Miller each gave a short speech.
There is no doubt that every soldier who participates, and it doesn’t matter which countries will participate in this exercise, they will get practice and an opportunity to exercise their soldier skills, said Nazarkin while addressing the soldiers who gathered for the opening ceremony.
Miller also had some remarks prepared for the participating troops.
“I have much enthusiasm for this exercise, as I have been personally involved with this exercise since 2003,” said Miller. “I have seen many positive developments in the training value of the contributing nations and the service members from the U.S. and Ukraine. It is my wish by the end of Rapid Trident 2010, you too will share my enthusiasm.”
“If this is your first time to this exercise, either as an individual or contributing nation, I believe we will find a rich environment for learning or reinforcing coalition operations,” said Miller. “In this safe training environment I want us to maximize our cultural exchanges and friendship opportunities.”
After the brief remarks from the co- directors of the exercise there was a short list of biographies for each participating nation followed by a presentation from performers from the Western Military Musician Art Center, who put on a show of traditional song and dance.
Following the performance, the Ukrainian Army Band played the U.S. and Ukrainian national anthems.
With the end of the opening ceremony, the soldiers involved in Rapid Trident are presented with a new beginning. As the exercise continues, soldiers will have many things to look forward to, and will have a rare and beneficial opportunity to experience multiple cultures.
“You will have an opportunity to see the beauty of Ukraine’s city of culture, Lviv. Explore these opportunities while we share our military culture,” said Miller. “As you know, this planet is getting smaller and smaller, therefore we are becoming closer and closer.”