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News | Feb. 7, 2022

Ukraine's readiness supported by US Army security assistance experts

By Maj. Mackenzie Deal U.S. Army’s Security Assistance Training Management Organization

Allies and partners play an important role in U.S. defense strategy through interoperability gained from U.S. Army materiel and training, and it is truly a balancing act to incorporate doctrine and military education. That is exactly what personnel from the U.S. Army’s Security Assistance Training Management Organization, also known as SATMO, accomplished in Ukraine in advance of the current crisis.

Since 2016, SATMO’s Doctrine Education Advisory Group, or DEAG, has advised Ukrainian Security Forces at the operational level to revise doctrine, improve professional military education, enhance NATO interoperability and increase combat readiness.

Lt. Col. Robert P. Nesbit, DEAG’s team leader, defines the group as, “an economy of force advisory team that supports Ukraine’s defense reform objectives. We have two broad missions: advising on doctrine revision and professional military education advisory efforts. We support the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, and, to a lesser extent, the Ukrainian Marine Corps and Air Assault/Airborne Forces.”

In addition to successfully sustaining their advisory mission, DEAG is currently assisting the Office of Defense Cooperation with receiving urgent security assistance materiel for delivery to the Ukrainian Security Forces as part of the U.S. Government Presidential Drawdown Authority.

On January 22, DEAG braved frigid temperatures to inventory close to 200,000 pounds of lethal security assistance, including ammunition for the frontline defenders of Ukraine. This was the first of several shipments totaling $200 million in security assistance for the Ukrainian Armed Forces authorized by President Joe Biden in December 2021.

“The arrival of additional lethal aid will have the effect of changing the 'calculus' on both sides of the crisis” Nesbit said. “The quick arrival of this materiel under urgent circumstances, along with the support already in place, reinforces the strong partnership between the U.S. and Ukraine.”

According to Nesbit, SATMO is a unique Army entity that tailors its training and advising for ally and partner militaries to align with each country’s military structure and even its culture. When training with our allies and partners, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of our counterparts’ militaries and personnel. Nesbit highlights that the collaboration between SATMO team members and their foreign counterparts are crucial to strengthening the mil-to-mil relationship.

“Within the realm of strategic competition, the DEAG is a component of the United States and NATO efforts to counter Russian influence not just in Ukraine but in Europe as well,” said Nesbit.

Representative of SATMO teams supporting geographic combatant commands, DEAG is a small team of subject matter experts with extensive experience at both the tactical and operational levels. SATMO employs experts in special operations, aviation, infantry, air defense artillery, field artillery, logistics and other specialties. These teams enable interoperability and increase ally and partner capacity through hands-on training and relationship-building.

Since 1974, SATMO’s teams have delivered continuous 24/7/365 embedded presence worldwide with Allies and Partners in support of Geographic Combatant Command theater strategies. As part of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, or USASAC, SATMO provides advanced and specialized training, professional military education, and tactical level expertise. Key aspects of military education include strategic planning and military doctrine.