KYIV, Ukraine - A Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) medical team that coached and mentored Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (MoD) personnel on basic battlefield medical procedures concluded a month-long deployment to Ukraine this week.
Arriving Nov.16, these medical professionals focused on tactical medicine, primarily point of injury care, teaching more than 300 Ukrainian soldiers from the 3rd and 8th Special Forces Regiments, in both Khmelnytskyi and Kirovohrad.
SOCEUR Commander Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Lengyel visited the Kirovohrad coaching site Dec. 4, along with members of the Ukrainian MoD and U.S. Embassy representatives. His visit included remarks to a group of graduating soldiers.
"You, soldiers of the 3rd SF Regiment, are now part of the overall effort to have all MoD personnel coached and mentored in combat lifesaver skills (CLS). These past three weeks, my medical team has taught 270 soldiers. Other non-governmental organizations have trained many more,” Lengyel said. “CLS is the basis of battlefield medical procedures. Where there is no doctor, where there is no surgeon, where there is no hospital, you have only each other to rely on in those first few decisive minutes.”
The coaching and mentoring team deployed at the request of the Ukrainian Government for assistance. It is part of a more comprehensive assistance package being developed after the review of feedback from joint military assessments conducted over the last several months. These identified a need for enhancing the individual medical capabilities of Ukrainian soldiers.
Additional deployments to continue this teaching program are planned, based on the success of the first iteration and at the Ukrainian MoD’s request. United States Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt noted that “As Ukraine continues to defend itself against Russian aggression, the United States will continue to send advisory teams to help improve Ukrainian combat medical care and save the lives of Ukrainian soldiers, in addition to the over $118 million in security assistance we have committed.”