Ukraine to Host International War Games Under the Auspices of the US

KYIV, Ukraine, February 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ukraine and the US have agreed upon conducting a series of military exercises in Ukraine, according to the Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Colonel-General Hryhoriy Pedchenko. The exercises will feature "Sea Breeze", "Rapid Trident" as well as three other sets of drills.

Ukraine has reached the agreement with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the United States Military, Admiral Michael G. Mullenin late January in Brussels. "We have agreed on the roadmap for conducting the multinational exercises under the auspices of the US. The drills will feature "Sea Breeze", "Rapid Trident" etc. The set of five different exercises will take place on the territory of Ukraine", stated Pedchenko.

By conducting war games, Ukraine is planning to broaden its cooperation with a number of countries, not only with the US. "The exercises have been originally planned as Ukrainian-American; however, I have invited our neighbors to participate: Poles, Slovaks, Hungarians, Romanians, and Russians", said he Ukrainian general. He also stressed, that the main goal of the training is to "raise the level of confidence in each other" (speaking of participating countries. - Editor).

Back in January the army representatives of Canada, Serbia, Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Germany and the US got together for a meeting in Ukrainian city of Lviv to discuss the scenario and chain of command of the joint Ukrainian-US military exercise "Rapid Trident - 2011.The Lead Planner for the event is Mr. Kevin Volk - the international exercise division branch chief of USAREUR. Rapid Trident (formerly Peace Shield) series of joint exercises have been traditionally hosted in Ukraine starting from 1995, right after Ukraine joined the Partnership for Peace.

"Sea Breeze" drills have been conducted in Ukraine since 1997. These exercises traditionally involve the troops of NATO countries on rotational basis.

In 2009, the Ukrainian parliament refused to approve international military exercises on Ukrainian soil. However, in 2010 the Ukrainian MPs voted in favor of the NATO drills taking place in the country.

The 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC) has become the formal basis for NATO-Ukraine relations.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine



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