US Army soldiers took part in realization of a training programme for the Ukrainian automatic mortar crews.
According to the official announcement, the training course in question covered the “defensive artillery tactics”. After the basic training was finalized, live-fire training session with the use of the 82 mm 2B9 Vasilok automatic mortars was conducted. The scope of the exercises is planned to get more complex as the training progresses. The training programme assumes that defensive tactics are going to be a part of the conducted procedures, up to the battery level.
US Army, for the purpose of the exercise, deployed the elements of the 2nd Brigade Combat Group of the 3rd Infantry Division. Thus, the deployed detachment is a light infantry brigade. The exercise took place at the Yavoriv training centre, close to Lviv. The official goal of the event is to bolster the defensive capabilities possessed by the Ukrainian Army.
US Army Captain Dave Carter admitted that never before has he worked with an automatic mortar of a similar type, hence it was required to mutually adjust the tactics, techniques and procedures used both by the Ukrainians, as well as by the Americans. 2B9 Vasilok system is a towed automatic 82 mm mortar capable of attacking targets at distances of up to 4.2 kilometres, with rate of fire exceeding 100 rounds per minute. This mortar is being used, inter alia, by the Ukrainian airborne units.
Representatives of the US Army also noted that training activities realized together with the Ukrainians allow the US soldiers to get acquainted with the experience of the troops who were operating under intense shelling carried out by the Russian artillery units, including the rocket artillery elements. In the light of the above, the exercise also acts as a relevant source of knowledge for the Americans, when it comes to the potential threats posed by the Russian Army.