Army National Guard soldiers from Western New York will be helping to train Ukrainian troops starting later this year.
More than 200 soldiers, most of whom are based at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, will be leaving for Ukraine in the fall as part of a 9-month mission, the New York Army National Guard announced Tuesday.
Members of the Army National Guard's 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry, will travel to Yavoriv Combat Training Center at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center near Yavoriv as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.
The training will cover areas including mission planning and staff operations. Some area troops will oversee field exercises. The overall focus of the training will be on defense and security missions, the Army National Guard said.
"Having been selected by the United States Army to fill this vital role in the Ukraine, the soldiers of the New York Army National Guard are now working diligently in preparation to serve alongside our NATO partners to execute this important mission," Col. Christopher Cronin, commander of New York's 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, said in a written statement. The 2nd Squadron is part of the 27th Infantry Brigade.
The local troops will join soldiers from Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom who are part of the mission.
The training program in Ukraine works with about 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers per year.
The troops are expected to leave Western New York in October for Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany to receive training from the 7th Army Training Command. Once they arrive in Ukraine, they will replace an Oklahoma Army National Guard unit that's been there since January.