Azov Battalion, Etc: U.S. paratroopers to train Ukrainian National Guard

U.S. Army Europe
February 25, 2015

USAREUR commander visits with Sky Soldiers in Vicenza
By Staff Sgt. Opal Vaughn


VICENZA, Italy: “I want to talk you today about Strong Europe,” said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe, speaking to paratroopers assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade here on Feb. 24, 2015, about their role in Europe and what they represent.

“Think of it in terms of people, places and things,” said Hodges. “The people, that’s all of you paratroopers. You all play a vital role and we want to continue that.”

During his visit, Hodges observed the brigade’s preparation for its scheduled training mission in western Ukraine, providing feedback for paratroopers who will train the newly-formed Ukrainian National Guard.

Hodges emphasized the important role the 173rd Airborne plays in enabling the NATO Alliance through multinational exercises.

“When you train in all these exercises with your allies, you build relationships,” he said, referring to the brigade’s participation in exercises such as Operation Atlantic Resolve and the upcoming Swift Response and Saber Junction. “It is U.S. Army Europe’s contribution to Europe on behalf of the Army, NATO and all the components that we support.”

Strong Europe represents the strategic framework that Hodges introduced since taking command last year of the approximately 30,000 Soldiers forward stationed in Europe.

Training allows paratroopers from the 173rd to exercise their own quick-response procedures. As the Army’s Contingency Response Force in Europe, the brigade maintains the ability to deploy on short notice to conduct the full spectrum of operations across the U.S. European, Africa and Central Command areas of responsibility.

U.S. Army Europe commander inspects Ukrainian proxy army

U.S. Army Europe
January 20, 2015

U.S. Army Europe commander visiting Ukraine
By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

WIESBADEN, Germany: The commanding general of U.S. Army Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, is in Ukraine today as part of a trip to meet with Ukraine defense officials and U.S. embassy personnel there ahead of a robust schedule of bilateral and multilateral military partnership exercises and training missions planned for 2015.

The Army Europe commander’s trip will include visits with the Ukrainian Minister of Defense and chief of Defense as well as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, to gain a better understanding of the security situation in Ukraine. Ukraine has been a military partner of the U.S. dating back to the mid 1990s.

At an Army leadership forum conducted in Wiesbaden, Jan. 13-14, Hodges commented on the strategic importance of U.S. forces forward-stationed in Europe.

“Everything that happens in this part of the world the U.S. Army in Europe is part of that,” said Hodges, addressing U.S. Army leaders gathered for the event. “It’s exercises, it’s relationships, it’s capabilities, networks and allies and it is what enables our president to assure allies and deter potential threats.”

The general’s visit will also include a press engagement at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center in Kiev, scheduled for 4:30-5:30 p.m. local.

Hodges finished a similar visit in Latvia yesterday. Latvia and Ukraine are part of U.S. Army Europe’s 51-country area of responsibility.

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.

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