MNBG E celebrates Ukraine Armed Forces Day

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Ukraine soldiers from the 79th Airmobile Brigade go all out to conclude a martial arts demonstration on Dec. 6, Ukraine Armed Forces Day, on Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. The 79th Airmobile Brigade is an elite paratrooper unit with specialized training in hand-to-hand combat.

Lt. Col. Jose Boria-Cruz, Multinational Battle Group East deputy commander, thanks the soldiers of the Ukraine Contingent for the professionalism and dedication to service alongside Maj. Aleksander Lutsenko, Ukraine Contingent commander, at a ceremony to celebrate Ukraine Armed Forces Day, Dec. 6, at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Joshua Dodds, 130th Public Affairs Detachment)

Ukraine Army Maj. Evgen Piven disarms Ukrainian Army Pvt. Mikhail Moroz during a martial arts demonstration on Dec. 6, Ukraine Armed Forces Day, at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. Both soldiers are members of the 79th Airmobile Brigade, an elite paratrooper unit with specialized training in hand-to-hand combat.

Warrant Officer Evgen Dzybak takes down Pvt. Vladimir Filonok during a martial arts demonstration on Dec. 6, Ukraine Armed Forces Day, on Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. Both soldiers are members of the 79th Airmobile Brigade, an elite paratrooper unit with specialized training in hand-to-hand combat.

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – Multinational Battle Group East soldiers held a ceremony, Dec. 6, to honor the 19th Annual Ukraine Armed Forces Day, which marks the day in 1991 the Ukraine Parliament adopted the Law “On the Defense of Ukraine.”

The ceremony began with the playing of the Ukraine National Anthem and continued with a review of troops by Ukraine Army Maj. Aleksander Lutsenko, Ukraine Contingent commander.

Lutsenko, a native of Nikolaev, Ukraine, opened with remarks to the soldiers and guests present on the present state of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“Our main goal of the development of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the modern stage is to create not large and equipped (force) but one of modern weapons and military hardware, with well prepared and professional troops,” Lutsenko said. “Today Ukrainian Armed Forces are taking an active part in enhancing international security. Our country is one of the top 20 nations participating actively in peacekeeping around the world.”

He was followed by Lt. Col. Jose Boria-Cruz, MNBG E deputy commander, thanked the Ukraine soldiers for their service.

“You are the best of the best. I thank you for your professionalism and dedication to our mission in Kosovo,” Boria-Cruz said. “I wish you the best on this Ukraine Armed Forces Day.”

The Ukraine Contingent has soldiers from several units but mainly consists of soldiers from the 79th Airmobile Brigade, an elite unit which has specialized combat training. These paratroopers displayed their martial arts skills for their peacekeeping partners as the finale of the ceremony.

“We are an airborne unit with deep pride in our training, the martial arts demonstration was a look at what we are capable of doing,” Lutsenko said.

Also in attendance was Greek Army Col. Chatzithoefanour Georgirn, Hellas Contingent commander, Polish Army Lt. Col. Krzystof Monkiewicz, Polish Contingent commander, Polish Army Capt. Peter Skolmowski, Polish Coy commander, and Turkish Army 1st Lt. Kenan Celik, acting Turkish Coy commander.

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VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Republic of Georgia-In front of a color detail with the national colors of America and the Republic of Georgia and the unit colors of the U.S. Marine Corps and Georgian military, Maj. Eric J. Andersen, executive officer Black Sea Rotational Force 11 and Kent, Wash., native,  â?forms the troops for the opening ceremony of Exercise Agile Spirit 2011, marking the official start of what is scheduled to be an annual training event with the partner nation. Marines with Alpha Company of Anti-Terrorism Battalion, and 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion deployed to Georgia for their annual training to supplement the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force deployment of BSRF-11, to conduct counterinsurgency and peacekeeping operations training at Vaziani Training Area. , Cpl. Tatum Vayavananda

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Capt. Barbara Bujak, physical therapist at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, speaks in her native tongue, Polish, with members of Multinational Battle Group East's Polish Contingent and European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. Bujak, who was born in Poland, moved to the U.S. at age 11 and joined the U.S. Army five years ago. Bujak's temporary assignment at Camp Bondsteel allowed her to experience a familiar ceremony in a new location.

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