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    Mobile Training Teams Forge Way Forward

    Mobile Training Teams Forge Way Forward

    Photo By 1st Lt. Kayla Christopher | Sgt. Matthew Councill assesses a shot grouping following a zeroing iteration during...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Kayla Christopher 

    45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

    Gunfire erupts on the shooting range at the 1st Battalion, 95th Airmobile Brigade training area in Zhytomyr, Ukraine.

    The training area is alive with activity. To one side, Ukrainian airborne soldiers are practicing proper shooting and movement techniques. On another, soldiers are practicing movement under fire and buddy carry techniques, carrying a simulated casualty to safety. Further off, Ukrainian soldiers are rehearsing entering and clearing a building.

    Although the training is varied, it all falls under the supervision of a single entity, the mobile training team.

    The MTT is composed of Canadian, U.S. and Ukrainian instructors from the Joint Multinational Training Group – Ukraine, the multinational coalition dedicated to professionalizing the Ukrainian military and helping establish a NATO interoperable combat training center by 2020.

    The overall objective of the mobile training team is to teach the Ukrainian soldiers individual soldier skills at their home base before the unit arrives for its training rotation at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center in Western Ukraine.

    “[The MTTs are] an opportunity for us to go to a unit and teach them individual soldier tasks, that way, when they arrive here at the CTC, they’re ready to start at the collective level,” said 1st Lt. Rob Hughes, an infantry officer with the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team currently assigned to Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.

    Hughes along with 1st Lt. Kevin Parker, both infantry officers, and Sgt. Matthew Councill, an Airborne and Ranger qualified infantryman, are all currently deployed to Ukraine with the 45th IBCT in support of JMTG-U.

    The three U.S. servicemen, along with Canadian and Ukrainian instructors taught the Ukrainian unit’s noncommissioned leadership everything from basic marksmanship and land navigation to detainee operations and vehicle search procedures.

    Councill took the lead on detainee operations training due to his practical experience performing detainee operations while deployed to the Middle East multiple times with the 2nd Ranger Battalion.

    He showed the Ukrainian soldiers how to conduct a proper search using a mask to limit the detainee's vision. He also filled out a card with information on the detainee and on what was discovered during the search. The students were engaged, participated and asked questions during the iteration.

    When it’s the students’ turn, Ukrainian soldiers implement the search methods taught to them. The U.S. instructors watch and suggest ways to improve their tactics, techniques, and procedures.

    "I was impressed with the Ukrainian airborne soldiers' proficiency in detainee operations,” Councill said. “Everyone walked away from today's training a better soldier. A great instructor is also a great student, and our Ukrainian counterparts taught me a lot. We really had a lot of pride and a tremendous feeling of accomplishment in today's event."

    Parker taught small arms fire theory, a class designed to help improve understanding of the physics behind marksmanship. He covered everything from ammunition construction, recoil and jump, air resistance, and gravity.

    In class, the students ask a plethora of questions. Parker occasionally calls students to the blackboard, allowing them to demonstrate their understanding of the material.

    In coming weeks, these newly trained Ukrainians will in turn teach these skills, and everything else they’ve learned from the MTT, to junior soldiers within their formations.

    “I'm confident they'll share this newfound knowledge with their fellow soldiers to help their army become even better than it already is," Councill said.

    The end state is to adopt a train the trainer approach, or have the Ukrainian soldiers teach, coach, and mentor each other, explained Hughes.

    “It really was an honor and a privilege working with these elite airborne soldiers…the unit is very high speed, and picked up concepts quickly,” said Hughes. “Training side by side with these elite soldiers, I can tell you they represent the very best of the Ukrainian military. It was quite a thrill to be a small part of their development as allies, soldiers, and leaders.”



    Date Taken: 05.17.2017
    Date Posted: 05.18.2017 07:33
    Story ID: 234117
    Location: ZHYTOMYR, UA 
    Hometown: MUSTANG, OK, US
    Hometown: NORMAN, OK, US
    Hometown: OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, US
    Hometown: STILLWATER, OK, US
    Hometown: TULSA, OK, US

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