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    Ukraine’s Special Ops join 16 nations at Combined Resolve XI

    Ukraine’s Special Ops join 16 nations at Combined Resolve XI

    Photo By 1st Lt. Benjamin Haulenbeek | Ukrainian Special Operations Forces and U.S. Army Special Forces Soldiers assigned to...... read more read more

    HOHENFELS, Germany – Special operations forces from five nations participated in exercise Combined Resolve XI December 1-11, 2018 at U.S. Army Europe’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center here.

    Combined Resolve is a U.S. Army Europe-led exercise series that improves readiness and interoperability amongst allies and partners, incorporating U.S. rotational units aligned under Operation Atlantic Resolve. More than 5,500 total soldiers from 16 nations took part in CbR XI.

    Multinational special operations forces are integrated into Combined Resolve to improve coordination between conventional forces and provide unique special operations capabilities to the combined joint force. CbR XI included SOF from Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Ukraine and the U.S. Army’s 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

    “It helps us to visualize the example of command and control of joint forces in a simulated scenario,” said a Major from the 3rd Ukrainian Special Operations Forces Regiment. “We learn new military standards and hopefully will apply them in our armed forces. Exercises like this provide us a valuable source of knowledge.”

    CbR XI marked the first time Ukrainian SOF has participated in a large joint, multinational exercise at JMRC. The training provided UKR SOF with the ability to increase readiness, showcase their capabilities, and share and refine lessons learned from recent combat experience. UKR SOF are an increasingly-capable partner, who through events like CbR XI are proving their ability to work alongside U.S., Allied, and NATO SOF counterparts.

    “The main achievement for us is the coordination of SOF with NATO conventional forces,” said the Ukrainian Major. “We were able to observe targets for the brigade Tactical Operations Center and disseminate information concerning those targets and call for fire. We also conducted special reconnaissance and direct action missions on high value targets with multinational Special Operations Task Units.”

    A key to ensuring the success of SOF and conventional forces integration is the ability to communicate.

    “They [Ukrainian SOF] understand the importance of special operations forces and conventional forces integration,” said a Captain assigned to 10th SFG (A). “Ukrainian SOF dedicated two of their personnel to act as Liaison Officers at the brigade level to facilitate communications with units on the ground. The brigade often relied on SOF to identify strategic level targets, coordinate the passage of friendly lines during limited visibility, coordinate resupply missions, and share intelligence about major enemy movements.”

    During prolonged operations it is not just conventional forces that are reliant on SOF, the two are interdependent. Conventional forces are able to use their logistical capabilities to sustain SOF, which in turn maintains a critical asset in the fight.

    “The key event that highlighted SOF and conventional forces interdependence was when one of the Special Operations Task Units was completely out of food and water and in dire need of a resupply,” said the American officer. “The team was able to coordinate a resupply mission by using their LNOs, and they were able to continue mission and call for fire on additional enemy battle positions.”

    The ability to conduct sustained and complex operations in a simulated battlefield environment such as CbR XI requires a great deal of planning and coordination among all the elements involved. For the training units it is an opportunity to become familiar with common standards.

    “We took part in the operation planning process, support, and command and control of operations according NATO planning templates,” said the Ukrainian Major. “Now we have advanced experience for performing tasks together with NATO units and also in joint forces operations.”

    The ability to operate with joint, multinational conventional forces and SOF is core to the success of any NATO and allied fighting force.

    “We are thankful to our partners from the Green Berets for their work in training and mentoring of Ukrainian SOF,” said the Ukrainian Major. “The knowledge and skills given to us are invaluable. We are expecting to participate in more exercises and trainings with our U.S. and NATO partners in the future.”

    The ability to operate in conjunction with each other enables conventional forces and SOF to accomplish more than they could on their own; further integration of SOF into conventional forces operations will only benefit NATO and allies alike.

    “This exercise demonstrated to all the participating elements that we need more SOF and conventional forces integration if we want to be successful in future conflicts,” added the American Captain.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 01.29.2019
    Date Posted: 01.29.2019 11:23
    Story ID: 308614
    Location: BW, DE

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