United States military advisers to start training National Guard of Ukraine's troops in spring

Defence & Security News - United States and Ukraine
United States military advisers to start training National Guard of Ukraine's troops in spring
Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, head of the United States Army Europe, announced on Wednesday, January 21, that a contingent of US soldiers will be dispatched to Ukraine in the spring to undertake the training of four companies of the National Guard of Ukraine (NGU). The exact number of American soldiers who will be stationed at the Yavoriv Training Area outside the western city of Lvov has yet to be determined.
United States military advisers to start training National Guard of Ukraine troops in spring 640 001 Soldiers of the newly founded Ukrainian National Guard during exercises near Kiev, March 2014
This announcement, which follows the positioning of US and NATO forces in Poland and the Baltic states and escalating threats of a military confrontation with Russia, came as the Kiev government steps up its war against pro-Russian separatists in the Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region.

Lt. Gen. Hodges made his announcement on his first visit to Kiev where he met with the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Anatoliy Pushnyakov and the acting commander of the NGU Lt. Gen. Oleksandr Kryvyenko. Hodges told reporters after the meeting he was “impressed by the readiness of both military and civil leadership to change and reform.

Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Vanessa Hillman told the training mission was part of a State Department effort “to assist Ukraine in strengthening its law enforcement capabilities, conduct internal defense, and maintain rule of law.” The Obama administration has so far committed $19 million from the Global Security Contingency Fund to help build up and train the NGU.

Disbanded in 2000, the National Guard was reestablished in March of last year in the aftermath of the US and EU-supported and fascist-backed coup that ousted democratically elected President Victor Yanukovych. The new National Guard is being developed as a light infantry, rapid response force aimed at assisting the suppression of the anti-Kiev, Pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbass region.

In addition to the deployment of advisers, the US has also been supplying Ukraine with heavy military equipment necessary to fight the separatists. On Monday, the US Embassy in Kiev announced the delivery of an armored Kozak mine-resistant personnel carrier to the State Border Guard Service (SBGS).

The US also recently delivered 35 smaller armored trucks as well as personal protective gear for use by the SBGS along the eastern border with Russia and against separatist held areas. SBGS spokesman Andriy Demchenko told the Southeast European Times the armored vehicles will "depart to the eastern border area for patrolling between checkpoints. Armored vehicles are not required for peaceful areas, we need it [in the east] to increase the efficiency of border monitoring and to protect the State Border Guard Service staff."