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Marine Forces Europe and Africa

United States Marine Corps

USAG Stuttgart, Germany
Romanian, Ukrainian soldiers join US Marines for peacekeeping training

By Cpl. R. Logan Kyle | | June 16, 2010

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Cpl. Eric Franco (right), an assaultman with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, demonstrates a counter strike during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 15. Throughout the two-week evolution, the Marines, Romanians and Ukrainians will sharpen their skills in combat and nonlethal operations including an introduction to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, convoy operations, patrolling, combat marksmanship, nonlethal weapons and munitions, and a wide variety of instruction encompassing the spectrum of military operations.

Cpl. Eric Franco (right), an assaultman with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, demonstrates a counter strike during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 15. Throughout the two-week evolution, the Marines, Romanians and Ukrainians will sharpen their skills in combat and nonlethal operations including an introduction to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, convoy operations, patrolling, combat marksmanship, nonlethal weapons and munitions, and a wide variety of instruction encompassing the spectrum of military operations. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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Sgt. Pastushenko Roman (right), a Ukrainian Army soldier with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, practices his basic warrior stance during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training exercise with the Marines of scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 15. The Marines are working with Romanian and Ukrainian forces to sharpen their skills in combat and nonlethal operations including an introduction to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, convoy operations, patrolling, combat marksmanship, nonlethal weapons and munitions, and a wide variety of instruction encompassing the spectrum of military operations.

Sgt. Pastushenko Roman (right), a Ukrainian Army soldier with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, practices his basic warrior stance during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program training exercise with the Marines of scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 15. The Marines are working with Romanian and Ukrainian forces to sharpen their skills in combat and nonlethal operations including an introduction to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, convoy operations, patrolling, combat marksmanship, nonlethal weapons and munitions, and a wide variety of instruction encompassing the spectrum of military operations. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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Romanian Army soldiers with the 341st Battalion, make their way to a simulated landing zone during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The Romanians are training alongside the Marines and Sailors of 1st Tank Bn.’s scout platoon, as well as Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade as part of the third peacekeeping operations training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010.

Romanian Army soldiers with the 341st Battalion, make their way to a simulated landing zone during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The Romanians are training alongside the Marines and Sailors of 1st Tank Bn.’s scout platoon, as well as Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade as part of the third peacekeeping operations training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, navigate through a night vision goggles course during an exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 14. Marines and Sailors with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, are currently partnered alongside Romanian and Ukrainian soldiers at BTA as the third peacekeeping operation training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010.

Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, navigate through a night vision goggles course during an exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 14. Marines and Sailors with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, are currently partnered alongside Romanian and Ukrainian soldiers at BTA as the third peacekeeping operation training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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Lance Cpl. Joel Hindman (right), an assaultman with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company 1st Tank Battalion, explains the purpose of the “buzz saw” method to Ukrainian soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Bn., during a night vision training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 14. The “buzz saw” is a checmical-light stick attached to a string and can be used to signal friendly forces.

Lance Cpl. Joel Hindman (right), an assaultman with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company 1st Tank Battalion, explains the purpose of the “buzz saw” method to Ukrainian soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Bn., during a night vision training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 14. The “buzz saw” is a checmical-light stick attached to a string and can be used to signal friendly forces. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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Lance Cpl. Mitch Sproull, a motor transportation operator with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, demonstrates the “buzz saw” method to Ukrainian and Romanian Army soldiers during a night vision training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 14. The “buzz saw” is a checmical-light stick attached to a string and can be used to signal friendly forces.

Lance Cpl. Mitch Sproull, a motor transportation operator with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, demonstrates the “buzz saw” method to Ukrainian and Romanian Army soldiers during a night vision training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 14. The “buzz saw” is a checmical-light stick attached to a string and can be used to signal friendly forces. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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Lance Cpl. Luis Castillo, an assaultman with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, strikes a pad held by Cpl. Devin Bullard, also an assaultman with scout platoon, during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The Marines are training alongside Romanian and Ukrainian forces in the third peacekeeping operation training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010.

Lance Cpl. Luis Castillo, an assaultman with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, strikes a pad held by Cpl. Devin Bullard, also an assaultman with scout platoon, during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The Marines are training alongside Romanian and Ukrainian forces in the third peacekeeping operation training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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From left, Cpl. Mitchell Staats, Sgt. Shane Cell, Cpl. Devin Bullard and Lance Cpl. Luis Castillo, all assaultmen with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, sprint to the next station of a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The Marines are training alongside Romanian and Ukrainian forces as the third peacekeeping operations training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010, the Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force currently deployed to the Black Sea, Balkans and Caucasus regions to promote regional stability, build enduring partnerships with nations throughout the region, and to enhance partner nations’ military capabilities.

From left, Cpl. Mitchell Staats, Sgt. Shane Cell, Cpl. Devin Bullard and Lance Cpl. Luis Castillo, all assaultmen with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, sprint to the next station of a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The Marines are training alongside Romanian and Ukrainian forces as the third peacekeeping operations training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010, the Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force currently deployed to the Black Sea, Balkans and Caucasus regions to promote regional stability, build enduring partnerships with nations throughout the region, and to enhance partner nations’ military capabilities. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, attack Marines with 1st Tank Battalion’s scout platoon during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The PT was designed to incorporate the MCMAP skills they have learned throughout the week.

Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, attack Marines with 1st Tank Battalion’s scout platoon during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The PT was designed to incorporate the MCMAP skills they have learned throughout the week. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, attack Marines with 1st Tank Battalion’s scout platoon during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The PT was designed to incorporate the MCMAP skills they have learned throughout the week.

Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, attack Marines with 1st Tank Battalion’s scout platoon during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The PT was designed to incorporate the MCMAP skills they have learned throughout the week. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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Romanian Army soldiers with the 341st Battalion, carry a simulated casualty to the landing zone during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The Romanians are training alongside the Marines and sailors of 1st Tank Bn.’s scout platoon, as well as Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade as part of the third peacekeeping operation training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010.

Romanian Army soldiers with the 341st Battalion, carry a simulated casualty to the landing zone during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program physical training exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, June 16. The Romanians are training alongside the Marines and sailors of 1st Tank Bn.’s scout platoon, as well as Ukrainian Army soldiers with the 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade as part of the third peacekeeping operation training course of Black Sea Rotational Force 2010. (Photo by Cpl. R. Logan Kyle)


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BABADAG TRAINING AREA, Romania -- Marines and Sailors with scout platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, are currently partnered alongside Romanian and Ukrainian soldiers at Babadag Training Area, Romania, to conduct the third peacekeeping operation training evolution during the Black Sea Rotational Force 2010 deployment.

Throughout the two-week evolution, the Marines, Romanians and Ukrainians will sharpen their skills in a variety of fields, including the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, convoy operations, patrolling, combat marksmanship and nonlethal weapons. However, the rigorous peacekeeping operations course is about more than just honing skills, it’s also an opportunity for the three nations to work together as partners.

“This is the first time we’ve worked with our neighbors, the Ukrainians, as well as the Marines,” said Romanian Land Forces 1st Lt. Priciu Volentin, a platoon commander with 341st Battalion. “We want to see what we can learn from both of them.”

“We’re here to focus on training for missions in Afghanistan, and I hope we can build a strong partnership with the Ukrainians,” he added.

Ukrainian soldiers said they agree the training opportunity offers a unique opportunity to bolster relationships across borders.

“It’s a very good experience for us to train with Americans and Romanians, and it’s very important to us,” said Ukrainian Army 1st Lt. Aleksander Yasko, a combat training and planning instructor with the  30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade. “We have already learned new techniques we can use when preparing soldiers for combat.

“All of this is very interesting and new for us. We look forward to continuing to build this friendship,” he added.

Since arriving in Romania, the Marines and Sailors of scout platoon have spent the majority of their deployment at Babadag Training Area, and some said they think of Babadag’s pastoral, rolling hills as a home away from home.

“It’s been exciting experiencing the Eastern European culture,” said Lance Cpl. Ryan Hazlitt, an assaultman with scout platoon, H and S Co., 1st Tank Bn. “It’s a pleasant change of scenery from our desert in Twentynine Palms, Calif., but I do miss the comforts of home.”

The Marines have spent the past six weeks working in the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions to promote regional stability, build enduring partnerships and build partner nations’ military capabilities. The Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force is Marine Corps Forces Europe’s commitment to a rotating presence of Marines in Eastern Europe to meet U.S. European Command’s theater security cooperation objectives.

“We’ve had a good time here,” said Hazlitt, a native of Brownwood, Texas. “We’ve had the chance to meet several unique people and build strong bonds at the same time.

“I think we’ll be able to walk away from this deployment with a great sense of satisfaction and a new group of friends,” he added.

The peacekeeping operations training for U.S, Romanian and Ukrainian troops is slated to run through June 24 and will mark the end of the Black Sea Rotational Force’s training at Babadag. Scout platoon is next slated to report to Novo Selo, Bulgaria, in late June to train alongside Bulgarian forces in the final peacekeeping operation training course of the deployment.



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