NY Army National Guard Spec. Kristin Sells, an Astoria resident, meets top NY Guard leader in Ukraine
Yavoriv, Ukraine (03/14/2018) — New York Army National Specialist Kristin Sells, an Astoria resident, who is currently serving at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center was visit at her place of duty by Major General Anthony German, the Adjutant General of New York, during a March 9 visit.
Sells who is assigned to Headquarters Troop of the 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry, based at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, is one of 220 members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team who are working with NATO allied units assigned to the Joint Multinational Training Group- Ukraine--to train the Ukrainian Army.
Since arriving in Ukraine early November 2017, the Soldiers assigned to the JMTG-U have been mentoring Ukrainian Army units as they strive toward their goal of obtaining interoperability with members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
"It was great to visit our New York Guard Soldiers working with the Ukrainian Army," German said. "From the leaders on down, our men and women are making a difference."
"I am incredibly proud of the way our Army Guard troops are working with allies from across NATO on this important mission," German added.
German was accompanied on his visit by Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, commander of the 42nd Infantry Division, the 27th brigades higher headquarters; Col. Christopher Cronin, the 27th brigade commander; Command Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, the New York National Guard's senior enlisted leader; and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McLean, the 27th brigade's senior enlisted Soldier.
During the visit both German and Ferrari toured the training center and met with military leaders from allied and partner nations assigned to the Combat Training Center.
Currently Canadian, Denmark, Lithuanian, Polish, and the United Kingdom military personnel are stationed at the Yavoriv training center where they are engaged in a multi-national effort to assist the Ukrainian Armed Forces in improving their capacity to defend Ukraine's sovereignty.
While at the training center, German and Ferrari spent time eating lunch with U.S. Soldiers and presented challenge coins to outstanding Soldiers in recognition of their hard work.
The generals also were able to observe Ukrainian Army units training in the field and tour the newly constructed simulation center. Finished last fall, the simulation center allows Soldiers to conduct computer-based tactical training from the individual Soldier level up to and including the brigade-staff level.
Currently a stand alone facility, there are plans to link it with similar centers across Europe to expand the scale and scope of the training conducted.
The New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the JMTG-U remain of the most easterly deployed U.S. Army units. The more than 220 Soldiers in Ukraine are slated to return home late this summer.