JUNEAU COUNTY, Wis. (WXOW) – The 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team deployed from Camp Douglas for a nine-month mission to help train Ukraine soldiers in NATO defense and security methods.
The mission includes around 165 soldiers from 64 Wisconsin communities and a few from five other states. American soldiers and other NATO countries have deployed to Western Ukraine since 2015 to help the country meet requirements to officially join NATO.
“Until recently, their military doctrines were very focused on Russian tactics,” Wisconsin Army National Guard Captain Adam Puhl said. “Their desire to become a part of a NATO partner nation, as well as maybe eventually moving into the European Union, means that they need to meet certain milestones. Some of those milestones are being able to integrate with the NATO armed forces and that’s what we are there to do.”
Two planes took off with fathers, mothers and other important family members left their loved ones behind. Though some soldiers said they were sad to say goodbye, they also said they’re excited to facilitate this partnership between the two countries.
On Friday they flew to Fort Bliss, Texas where they will train for a few weeks and then head to Ukraine. The 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team has deployed three times over the past decade to various parts of the world as part of the war on terror.