In short, below are achievements of the time passed:
1. A concept for creation and deployment of the rapid mobility brigade, optimized for conducting combat tasks in conditions of local war has been developed and approved. Organizational and staff structure of the new unit has been developed.
2. The command of the unit has been selected using the following criteria: respect to soldiers; experience of participation in the ATO; selection to the brigade together with soldiers; training under NATO programs or ability to learn the tactics of NATO and English language; acceptance of equal terms of service along with soldiers and sergeants.
3. A new system of personnel selection under the following criteria has been created and functions: patriotism; assessment of motivation and stamina; honesty; team spirit; endurance; no bad habits like alcohol or drug use. In the process of selection, soldiers are tested psychologically during physical and psychological assignments. The oldest guy in the brigade is 59 - it's a man with extreme willpower and a real hero Anatolii Skrytskyi, a well-known tankman.
4. The light infantry battalion's staff has been created under NATO standard, i.e. with an increased number of officers, each of them functioning individually and initiatively under NATO norms - S1 personnel, S2 intelligence, S3 operations, S4 logistics, S6 communications. Creation of the battalion's staff increases the speed of the decision-making process and reacting to changes in tactical situation, because the command now takes decisions while controlling the situation on the battlefield and in real time. The staff learns to work under NATO regulations in English and with the use of NATO military terminology and tactical signs. The staff is being trained by instructors from the U.S. National Guard and Israeli Defense Forces. The training by the Americans is conducted in English.
5. Sergeant corps of the brigade has been created. Educational and motivational work with personnel and commanding of soldiers at the level of the detachment have been transferred to sergeants' responsibility. Officers do not interfere with the sergeants' competence. Sergeants have become the basis for the unit, an independent structure that serves as a liaison between officers' decisions and soldiers' fulfillment.
6. Actual recruitment of personnel to the brigade started in October 2015. As of now, a tactical group for combat activities at the front line in the ATO area has been trained; armored vehicles have become operational with the army, tank crews and artillery unit are being trained. The equipment needs some more work and to be brought to combat-ready condition. Of course, there are problems with recruitment - they are major ones. Requirements to the personnel are at professional level; contracts are signed for three years. It would be easier to find people for a one-year contract, but too much is invested in these people here. Over this period, nearly 400 military were accepted for service, 100 more are currently submitting their documents. These are out of 2,000 people who applied to serve in the brigade.
7. A team of professional instructors - six persons - are permanently employed during the entire training course. The instructors have significant experience of working with units of the Armed Forces, the Interior Ministry, the NGU and the SBU at war.
8. A new course for intensive training of infantrymen has been created and elaborated. The course lasts for four months, 12-14 hours daily, with just a few days off. Criteria used for the program elaboration: independent and initiative thinking; decision-making under standard operational procedures; mastery of arms and weapons training under modern methods; mastering the tactics of individual activities and small group tactics; gaining basic skills of field engineering, camouflage, tactical medicine, and survival.
9. Relations with the civil society have been established. Thanks to this, the brigade is filled by motivated soldiers, including those from volunteer battalions and from among the ATO participants who have demobilized after their service. Together with volunteers, a staff unit of aerial reconnaissance has been created. Many issues are being solved with volunteers' efforts as well.
10. There are many difficulties. The procurement is just like everywhere else. After they started to do everything on their own, there are no more questions, and it's important that volunteers regularly bring fruit and vitamins. Thanks to donations by the Ukrainian people and the work of volunteers, the soldiers receive what the state cannot provide so far. But the way people are treated and the organization are of the new kind. The guys really look forward to going to the front line and use their skills in combat activities.
Light infantry at a mock ingress for exercising combat activities in a forest
Instructor Tzvi Arieli has become a citizen of Ukraine to defend Ukraine as an officer of the new brigade. Arieli was awarded with custom engraved weapon by the Interior Minister of Ukraine for his aid to units of the Armed Forces, the National Guard, and the Interior Ministry during the war.
The most experienced soldier of the brigade - Anatolii Skrytskyi, a hero tankman and participant of the battles for the Donetsk airport.
Wearing beret is volunteer Anatolii Svyryd - hero-Cyborg of the 90th airmobile battalion. He provides significant assistance to the brigade. Anatolii served in the National Guard back in 1990s and was training the 1st reserve battalion of the National Guard in spring 2014. He was awarded with custom engraved weapon by the Interior Minister of Ukraine for his contribution to the defense of Ukraine.
In front of Anatolii is Oleksandr Fedorchenko - a soldier who enrolled in the rapid mobility brigade but was forced to demobilize due to health issues. Oleksandr is a fighter of the 'Donbas' battalion; on Aug. 29, 2014 together with Yevhen Telnov and Serhii Horbenko he destroyed two Russian tanks and two airborne combat vehicles near the village of Novoselske and took three Russian soldiers captive.
These are three armored vehicles of rapid mobility. There are also three T-64 tanks behind them, not seen here.
SAU 2S1 Gvozdika of NGU's separate unit
Yurii Butusov, Censor.NET