The program is part of the UK’s enduring commitment to supporting Ukraine in its fight against the unprovoked invasion from Russia, which so far amounts to more than £2.3bn of military aid and includes more than 5,000 NLAW anti-tank weapons and M270 multiple launch rocket systems.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, who visited the formation this week, said:
This ambitious new training program is the next step in the UK’s support to Ukraine’s armed forces in their fight against Russian aggression.
Using the world-class expertise of the British military, we will help Ukraine rebuild its forces and step up its resistance as it defends its country’s sovereignty and its right to choose its own future.
Around 1,050 UK service personnel are deployed to deliver the programme, which will take place at MOD sites in the North West, South West and South East of the UK. Each course will last several weeks and will be led by elements of the 11th Security Force Assistance Brigade.
The training will give volunteer recruits with little or no military experience the skills to be effective in front line combat. Based on basic UK soldier training, the course covers weapons handling, battlefield first aid, field craft, patrol tactics and the law of armed conflict.
The government quickly purchased AK variant assault rifles for the training program, which means Ukrainian soldiers can practice the weapons they will use on the front line. This effort was supported by the Welsh Guards, who tested over 2,400 such rifles over 17 days to ensure they were ready for the Ukrainians to begin their training.
The UK has also donated clothing and equipment to support Ukrainian soldiers in their training and deployment to Ukraine. Each soldier will receive:
- Personal protective equipment including helmets, body armor, eye protectors, hearing protectors, pelvic protection and personal first aid kits
- Field uniforms and boots
- Clothing for cold and wet weather
- Bergens, day packs and straps
- Additional gear required for field conditions, including ponchos, sleeping bags, and entrenching tools
The UK has a long history of supporting Ukrainian military personnel through Operation ORBITAL, which trained 22,000 Ukrainians between 2015 and 2022. The new program will build on this success and demonstrate the UK’s continued leadership in meet Ukraine’s military needs as the war progresses.