What Is Rapid Trident?

In a joint effort to foster peace through defensive measures, several years ago the Rapid Trident training exercises have been taking place. I am writing this because just a few days ago, Rapid Trident 16 kicked off in the Ukraine. While Russia has thoughts that the United States is showing “its muscle” in a country that Russia has been antagonizing, the fact is: it is a method to build the operability between NATO, the United States and Partnership for Peace member nations.

And, doing these exercises in Ukraine probably are meant to give Russia some lessons. Not necessarily “muscle” lessons, but lessons that all nations should be working together for peace instead of war. You may or may not agree. Feel free to leave your views in the comment section at the end, but please read the entire post first.

The nations who have traveled to Ukraine for this year’s Rapid Trident exercises are:

  • Ukraine – I guess they didn’t have too far to travel.

  • Turkey

  • United States

  • Sweden

  • Belgium

  • Romania

  • Bulgaria

  • Poland

  • Canada

  • Norway

  • Georgia

  • Lithuania

  • Great Britain

  • and Moldova

Ukraine is a hot zone

The Rapid Trident exercises come again this year as a direct result of a request by the Ukrainian Government. Ukraine is a hot bed of activity. Many citizens have become refugees because of the war.

The training exercises are being held at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv and will last until July 8th, 2016.

But meanwhile, Ukraine is still a country at war. Just today, there has been much action in the Donetsk region, primarily Donbas, Ukraine. There have been many Ukrainian soldiers wounded and a well-known Ukrainian opera singer was killed by a sniper.

While Russia denies they have people attacking in the Donetsk region, there are many signs that all these attacks are coming from pro-Russian forces. We pray and hope they stay clear of the IPSC functions.

The training

The soldiers from all these nations are first going through situational training exercises that are focused on:

  • Patrolling

  • Convoy operations

  • and countering improvised explosives.

The troops will then participate in various field training exercises such as armored vehicle maneuvering, small arms shooting and military helicopter coordination. They will learn to work as one even with different languages and cultures.

One of the primary training units are members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. They have been actively training Ukrainian soldiers even before Rapid Trident kicked off.

Past Rapid Tridents

It is believed that this year’s Rapid Trident is the largest of its kind with approximately 2,000 personnel.

Past Rapid Trident training exercises included:

  • The 2015 exercise was primarily a training involving The 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 18th Military Police Brigade. This was also held in Ukraine and had approximately 1,800 participants.

  • The 2014 Rapid Trident exercises were led by Ukraine with training by the 409th Contracting Support Brigade. The main goal was to train on building military infrastructure. There were approximately 1,300 personnel present for the 2014 Rapid Trident.

  • The 2013 Rapid Trident exercises had approximately 1,300 participants. There was a lot of paratrooper activity during this Rapid Trident. Also, it was a great experience for a variety of United States ROTC cadets who were able to visit and learn during the 2013 Rapid Trident.

  • The 2012 Rapid Trident exercise really focused on Ukraine’s ability to work jointly with NATO. There were approximately 1,400 participants in this joint exercise operation.

Rapid Trident has been going on for right near 17 years. It shows that the United States, Ukraine and other forces can all work jointly with NATO troops. It is these exercises that can bring peace through joint defensive means.

Final Thoughts

The 2016 Rapid Trident exercises in Ukraine are scheduled to be done on July 8th, 2016. In this writer’s opinion, I believe these are good moves by multi-national military’s. We hope that it can help control and ease the tensions in war-torn Ukraine.

I would love to hear from any soldiers or officers who have participated in past Rapid Trident exercises. Tell us more about it please.

We welcome comments or questions. Please post them in the comment area at the end of this post.

I will say there are some who believe that Rapid Trident is like throwing rocks at a chained pit-bull. With the dog being the Russian Kremlin. Personally, I disagree. If it were a new exercise, I may agree, but Rapid Trident has been going on for years. Just because Russia invaded Ukraine doesn’t mean we should stop training.

What are your thoughts? Do you think we should have called off Rapid Trident? Please explain why.

Thank you for visiting.

References

  1. http://www.eur.army.mil/RapidTrident/

  2. Rapid Trident: Largest US Army-led multinational exercise kicks off in Ukraine
  3. Rapid Trident 2016 NATO drills kick off in western Ukraine

  4. Ongoing war in Ukraine turns 1.7 million people into refugees
  5. US, allies, partner nations gather for exercise Rapid Trident 16
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