A multinational group gathered today at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, near Yavoriv, Ukraine, to discuss non-commissioned officer development. American, Canadian and Ukrainian senior NCOs met with Lithuanian Lt. Col. Rolandas Kiškis, a NATO representative to Ukraine who serves as Chairman of the Multinational Joint Commission Sub-Committee on Ukrainian NCO development in Kiev, Ukraine.
“It’s a long process to change the old mindset,” said Kiškis. “NCOs have to know what responsibilities they should take from the officers, but the officers also have to let them take on those tasks,” he said, adding that mechanisms must be put in place to grow and retain the best NCOs.
The meeting, which concluded with a tour of the classroom facilities and training areas at IPSC, was a chance for the Ukrainian command to demonstrate how they’ve gathered lessons learned to improve and professionalize their force.
“We are working with command sergeant majors from all different branches to amend our program of instruction and make it better for real-life operations,” said Ukrainian Lt. Col. Novikov Aleksey, Chief of the Partnership for Peace Program Center. “We also work closely with the training center in Odessa, where they develop courses all the way from squad leader development up to the highest level.”
The meeting also helped orient the new rotation of American soldiers assigned to Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine to the current state of Ukrainian NCO development.
JMTG-U, which falls under 7th Army Training Command and U.S. Army Europe, is the name given to the training and advising mission being conducted by U.S. forces in Ukraine. Soldiers from the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived in Ukraine last week to assume the mission.
One goal of JMTG-U is to help the Ukrainian Armed Forces establish a combat training center for their troops similar to the CTCs operating in the United States. Building a strong and professional NCO corps is fundamental to accomplishing this goal.
“We intend to support every effort towards improving Ukraine’s NCO corps, said Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Miller, the Senior Enlisted Advisor for JMTG-U, “we want to reinforce all that’s been done up to this point and continue to build on that professionalism and knowledge.”