Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of Canadian, Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian armies met in Lviv, in order to discuss the issues related to the Maple Arch 2016 exercise. The training operation, involving the four above-listed nations, will take place at the Ukrainian International Peacekeeping and Security Center.
Lublin-based representatives of the LITPOLUKRBRIG element, which achieved the initial operational capability status in January 2016, have all been involved in a planning conference preceding a quadripartite exercise in Ukraine. The operation, this year, is going to focus on training of the units affiliated with the Multinational Brigade.
After the consulting meeting was finalized, LITPOLUKRBRIG representative, Lt. Col. Andriy Kikhtan stressed the fact that “thorough and qualitative planning leads to a success of the exercise, and the whole training, in a wider dimension”.
Maple Arch 2016 exercise plan was developed on the basis of the current experiences and analysis of the contemporary armed conflicts. The training itself constitutes an important milestone of the process, in which LITPOLUKRBRIG gains full combat readiness. This is expected and planned to happen in January 2017.
The unit stationed in Lublin is going to, ultimately, be formed by 3.5-4 thousand troops. Representatives of the three countries forming the brigade are assigned to the positions of commander, deputy commander and chief of staff in a rotation, for a period of three years. As it was stressed in January by the Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, the LITPOLUKRBRIG unit may be treated as a signal for anybody who would like to “breach peace in Europe”. The brigade has been formed by two NATO member states and Ukraine, which is under pressure of the Russian aggression.
Cooperation is expected to help the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the process of achieving a higher interoperability, when it comes to being involved in joint operations together with the NATO member states. This goal is expected to be achieved by 2020.