During a working trip to the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy watched the course of the strategic command and staff exercises “Joint Efforts - 2020”, which are held with the involvement of certain military command bodies of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, command bodies of other components of the defense forces and designation of actions of the troops.
These are the first exercises of such level that Ukraine conducts as a member of NATO's Enhanced Opportunities Program, and another step towards the compatibility of the Ukrainian army with the armies of NATO member-states. One of the main tasks of the exercises is to demonstrate Ukraine's readiness to repel armed aggression on its own and with the use of international support mechanisms, as well as its ability to resist other threats. The training will also help identify further directions for the development of the Armed Forces management system.
"This is another signal of Ukraine's strong international support in defending its territorial integrity and security in Europe. Our combat experience is becoming part of combat training programs that are highly valued around the world. The evidence of this is the participation in the exercises of representatives of our partner countries," the President said at the Interdepartmental Training Center for Military Units "Shyrokyi Lan" when watching the tactical actions during the brigade exercises of the 72nd separate mechanized brigade.
According to the commander of the troops of the operational command "North" Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the units practiced the assault of settlements, attacking the unprepared defense, attacking the enemy's front line, fighting for control over company bases in the first position, the use of tactical airborne troops.
In the Kherson region, near the village of L'vove, the President of Ukraine together with the ambassadors of the participating countries, including Chargé d'Affaires of the United States in Ukraine Kristina Kvien, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Canada to Ukraine Larisa Galadza and Chargé d'Affaires of the United Kingdom in Ukraine Nicolas Harrocks, watched the tactical exercises of the 3rd battalion tactical group of the 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade of the Air Assault Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the company tactical group of the 16th Air Assault Brigade of the British Armed Forces. In particular, the capture of the bridgehead, the water barrier crossing on all types of amphibious vehicles and the pontoon bridge crossing were practiced.
In the area of Kinburn Spit near the village of Vynohradne, the control of a concentrated fire strike was practiced. As commander of the troops of the operational command "South" Ihor Palahniuk informed the President, the strike was carried out with MLRS "Vilkha", "Uragan" on the objects in the depth of the enemy's defense. The use of Bayraktar UCAV was also tested.
After that, tactical exercises of the 124th separate territorial defense brigade took place in the port of Skadovsk. In particular, the defense of the seaport, the coast and the repulse of the enemy's sabotage and reconnaissance forces were practiced. The brigade was established in the Kherson region in September 2018. Its tasks are protection and defense of important objects, counter-sabotage activities and other activities in case of full-scale aggression. Еру Kherson region is a pilot region for the implementation of the project on the organization of territorial defense. In the exercises, the Ukrainian brigade uses the experience of the Estonian Defense League - Kaitseliit.
The President praised the training and congratulated on the carried out tests. "I am satisfied, like all Ukrainians, with our army, and grateful to everyone who defends our sovereignty and territorial integrity. I think that these exercises are very important, because they are not just some kind of training, but exercises that are as close as possible to reality, to war. I know that both the British and other partners from the Alliance involved in these exercises see that the war in the east of the country has taught us many things, our military work at the highest level," the President said.
During the exercises, the construction of bridges and pontoons, transportation of equipment across the river were worked out.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted the skills of Ukrainian military and technicians. And domestic samples of armaments and military equipment in the process of testing proved their competitiveness in the world market.
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak thanked for the facilitation in granting Ukraine the status of a member of the NATO Enhanced Opportunities Program and noted the participation of the troops of NATO member-states in the “Joint Efforts - 2020” exercise.
"Today our cooperation is full of practical content. For the first time in the history of Ukraine, the strategic command and staff exercises "Joint Efforts - 2020" are held according to the NATO standards, as the military authorities have been transferred to the J-structure. The participation of partner countries in the exercises is a strong signal of solidarity," the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine emphasized.
The strategic command and staff exercises "Joint Efforts - 2020" are held from September 22 to September 25.