The Ukrainian and British military conducted the first stage of the “Joint Efforts-2020” exercise, which began with a joint landing in Mykolaiv region. The Armed Forces of Ukraine General Staff announced this on its Facebook page.

As it was reported, the first exercise phase started with the aircraft-borne landing from the Royal Air Force’s C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft. Ukrainian paratroopers landed from IL-76 and An-26.

“Joint Efforts- 2020” is being held in this format for the first time. British and Ukrainian fighters landed with equipment and weapons, performed multiple tasks (including the landing site defence and taking control of core areas). In addition, the operation was carried out under the shelter of the Armed Forces Air Force fighters.

The British media note that these exercises are held “in solidarity with Ukraine” and a landing in the Mykolaiv region has become the most comprehensive landing operation for Britain during the last 20 years. 250 soldiers from the 16th Assault Brigade, which is a part of the British Global Response Force that can take part in operations around the world, participated in it. Also, some media noted that the exercises took place not far from the Russian-annexed Crimea.

The Air Force Command stressed that the exercises’ purpose is to work out the tasks in a multinational environment according to NATO standards and procedures, and to increase the interoperability level of Ukraine’s Armed Forces and the units of partner countries.

12 000 troops, 700 weapon and military equipment units, as well as NATO advisers are taking part in the “Joint Efforts -2020.”

Meanwhile, another international military exercise “Rapid Trident-2020,” which began on 17 September, is in progress in Ukraine.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky attended the exercise’s opening ceremony. During it, he stressed that these exercises were a significant step towards NATO and should increase the Ukrainian troops’ training and efficiency level, as well as  improve the alignment of Ukraine, the United States and other members of the North Atlantic Alliance headquarters.

As Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence reported, about 4,000 people will be involved in “Rapid Trident-2020” totally. Ukraine and the United States provided the largest contingents. The troops from Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Poland, and Lithuania joined them.

According to the training scenario, an aggressor country destabilises the situation in some region of another state and tries to occupy it.  Meanwhile, a joint group of allied forces organizes the defence and liberates the occupied territories. Simultaneously, considerable attention was paid to anti-sabotage and anti-terrorism measures.

In addition, the Ukrainian Red Cross Society will be more widely involved in these exercises to work out humanitarian missions.

“Rapid Trident- 2020” was also reported to spread out of Ukraine this year for the first time. The headquarters of the multinational Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade operates in Lublin, Poland. In coordination with it, the unit will perform the tasks at the training area in the Lviv region.

Bohdan Marusyak

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