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Old 09-17-2021, 06:01 AM
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Post Army gears up for Rapid Trident Exercise in Ukraine

Army gears up for Rapid Trident Exercise in Ukraine
By: Leila Barghouty - Army Times - 09-16-21

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A U.S. soldier provides security as part of the multi-national exercise Rapid Trident 2015 at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv, Ukraine, July 29, 2015. (Sgt. 1st Class Walter E. van Ochten/Army)

Roughly 300 U.S. soldiers will join approximately 6,000 troops from 12 nations participating in an annual multinational training exercise in Ukraine later this month.

Rapid Trident 21 will take place from Sept. 20 through Oct. 1 and will prepare personnel from allied and partner nations for crisis response, according to a news release from U.S. Army Europe and Africa command.

Last year’s exercise only involved 4,100 personnel.

Soldiers from the Washington Army National Guard’s 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team have been deployed in support of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine since April. They’ll be joined by 150 other Army representatives who will participate as mission enablers.

The exercise is the final phase of a longer annual training exercise, which seeks to better prepare Ukrainian land forces for real-world defense challenges.

The exercise is a part of ongoing efforts to improve defensive capabilities in Ukraine, according to the Army. It comes less than a month after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s Aug. 31 meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the country’s defense minister, Andrii Taran.

The meeting focused on strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries — particularly in the wake of the Donbas war and annexation of Crimea. During their rendezvous, Austin and Taran signed the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Defense Framework.

The framework lays out bilateral defense goals and priorities set on a timeline running through 2026.

The framework’s strategic priorities include U.S. assistance in countering Russian activities, “including through a robust training and exercise program,” a primer document reads.

The laundry list of objectives aimed at boosting strategy and reform also spotlights cybersecurity and intelligence partnerships.

“The United States and our allies are committed to supporting Ukraine’s right to decide its own future foreign policy, free from outside interference,” Austin said in the August meeting.

September’s exercise will take place at the International Peacekeeping Security Centre near Yavoriv, Ukraine, and will follow COVID-19 safety measures, the news release said.

About the writer: Leila Barghouty - Leila has covered global military and security operations from across the U.S., the Middle East, and Latin America.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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