Multinational Allied Support within the reform of Ukraine’s Armed Forces: Implementation of NATO Standards in the Ukrainian Army

2020-06-19 11:11:00 | ID: 58278

The need to establish a Ukrainian-American Joint Coordination Committee arose in 2014, when the United States was the first to provide practical assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in repelling Russian armed aggression. It was then that a battalion of the California National Guard was sent to Ukraine to train combat units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre (Lviv region). In October 2014, the first meeting of the Committee was held. In 2015, Canada and the United Kingdom joined the committee, followed by Lithuania and Poland. Accordingly, the Committee was reorganized into the Multinational Joint Committee on Military Cooperation and Defence Reform (MJC).

With the accession of the Kingdoms of Sweden and Denmark to the Committee, the number of participating countries increased to eight.

During the activity of the MJC it was managed to:

— expand the training of units to the brigade level;

— initiate the development of a number of doctrinal and conceptual documents;

— establish work in 14 subcommittees and three working groups;

— increase logistical support to $ 250 million per year.

The main task of the MJC remains the development and implementation of effective mechanisms for cooperation between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and partners in the process of reforming and acquiring operational capabilities.

Ways to achieve this goal are to conduct training activities, advisory and logistical assistance.

Until 2020, the MJC existed in a structure that included 14 subcommittees and 3 working groups. The structure covered the main areas and directions of the Armed Forces, which needed assistance in the first place.

The MJC is chaired (or co-chaired) by generals from the participating states, but Ukraine and the United States play a leading role.

On the American side, the co-chair of the MJC is the head of the Strategy and Planning Directorate (J-5) of the United States European Command.

It should be noted that the structure of the MJC functioned on the so-called “crisis” principle: that is, it provided for the solution of urgent and priority needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and to date it has fulfilled its role.

It became clear that with the beginning of the practical phase of the C2 transformation, the MJC should also be adequately transformed. Therefore, during the last meeting in November last year, the proposal to start work on discussing the new structure and activities of the MJC was accepted by all participants.

As a result, among several options developed jointly with partners, a structure focused on functional areas was chosen.

Such a structure will provide for the work of subcommittees in accordance with the J-structure, as well as ongoing reform directions. This scheme corresponds to the newly created staff structures and will provide a unified, joint approach to the planning, training and deployment of the armed forces.

The co-chairs will be representatives of the participating states, 9 subcommittees will be established (eight according to the J-structure (one combined — J5 and J8) and a subcommittee on the Military Police), as well as 4 working groups, the number of which can be changed as needed.

The key difference in the organization of work in the transformed subcommittees is that they will include representatives of the relevant structural units (J-, A-, N-, G-) headquarters of the commands of services, separate branches, as well as representatives of foreign training missions and advisers. This will allow to apply unified approaches to the organization of activities by functional areas, as well as to develop common staffing procedures throughout the command and control vertical.

Each subcommittee will have its own characteristics: J7, for example, in addition to training missions, will work closely with the Multinational Coordination Group (MCG), and J1 will also oversee military education, working with the Ministry of Defence and the NATO Mission in Ukraine. In addition, it is planned to review and systematize the development of requests for logistical assistance.

Thus, the committee will continue to be an effective mechanism for cooperation with the armed forces of foreign states in the military sphere. Its transformation will bring this cooperation to a qualitatively new level.

Regular meetings of the Executive Committee are scheduled for mid-July by videoconference. A meeting of the Executive Committee will be held in September this year in the personal presence of the participants, and an extended meeting of the MJC is scheduled for November-December.

Spokesperson: Cpt. Yulia Schukina, Officer of the Main Directorate for Military Cooperation and Verification of the Armed Forces of Ukraine