3rd ID teaches suppressive fire to Ukrainian Soldiers

U.S. Army Europe
Story by Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Tarr

Date: 11.19.2016
Posted: 11.19.2016 02:34
News ID: 215279
3rd ID teaches suppressive fire to Ukrainian Soldiers

YAVORIV, Ukraine—Soldiers assigned to 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division worked with Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 80th Airmobile Brigade of the Ukrainian Army on suppressive fire using BTR and Humvee armored vehicles, Nov. 18, at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center.

This platoon-level training is one of the collective tasks that the Ukrainian battalion must accomplish during their 55-day rotation with the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.

According to Staff. Sgt. Gregory Goodrich, a platoon sergeant assigned to 6-8 CAV, the training begins with the first vehicle pulling up to the objective, laying down a base of fire, then the vehicle will cease-fire while the other two vehicles maneuver to the next position. The vehicles will continue to maneuver forward until they reach the objective. Once the vehicles reach the objective, Ukrainian Soldiers will dismount, enter a building and proceed to clear it. The vehicles will continue to provide support by fire while the building is being cleared.

“The big focus with this live-fire training is coordination with the mounted elements and dismounted elements,” said Goodrich. “ We are stressing on them the importance of having constant communication with the mounted element.”

To ensure successful training with the platoon live-fire, the Ukrainian Soldiers did a similar mount and maneuver live-fire training exercise, as a section, to learn the basic tactics.

“The previous training doesn’t exactly mirror this exercise but as far as the mount and maneuver element, they are somewhat similar, so they were able to iron out the rough patches,” he said. “By the time they got to platoon live-fire they were much more proficient and were able to establish some of their standard operating procedures.”

For two years, Goodrich was an observer/controller at Fort Polk’s combat training center and has used his previous experience to help train Ukrainian Soldiers.

“Working at the CTC has helped me to facilitate training here so the training is effective,” he said. “We build on the individual level to the battalion level and once we reach the battalion level, we have a solid foundation.”

Goodrich is on his second rotation of training Ukrainian Soldiers and is impressed with their level of skills and knowledge on suppressive fire.

“I thought we would be teaching them tactics but instead we’re teaching them another way to accomplish the mission. They already have their established doctrines and tactics; we’re just here to fine-tune their procedures,” he said.

Soldiers of 6-8 CAV are currently responsible for training Ukrainian ground forces as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine. JMTG-U is training Ukrainian land forces and building a team of Ukrainian cadre who will ultimately assume that responsibility. The training is designed to reinforce defensive skills of the Ukrainian Ground Forces in order to increase their capacity for self-defense.