About a dozen medical specialists from Special Operations Command Europe deployed earlier this week to Western Ukraine to coach Ukrainian soldiers on basic battlefield medical procedures, European Command officials announced Friday.
The announcement comes the same day the that White House released a statement honoring the memory of millions of Ukrainians starved to death during the "Holodomor," between 1932 and 1933 under Stalin's regime, known as "Holodomor," between 1932 and 1933.
The SOCEUR team from Stuttgart, Germany, deployed to support nearly 600 the Ministry of Defence personnel and in response to after the Ukrainian government requests repeatedly requested assistance and feedback from assessments that were conducted over the last several months, according to a statement released Fridaytoday from U.S. European Command spokesman Navy Capt. Greg Hicks.
The prior a Assessments over the last several months identified a need for enhanced individual medical capabilities, the statement said.
"This initial mission will take no more than 30 days but we are prepared to stay longer if directed based on the need for additional courses as identified by the Ukrainian Government/Military," EUCOM spokesman Lt. Col. David Westover told Military Times.
"This is another example of the U.S. Government supporting the Ukrainian Government and our partners in the region as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve," he said in an email.
SOCEUR members, who are also working with the non-government organization Patriot Defense, which has on this mission, will mentor close to 600 Ukrainian Ministry of Defence members to enhance battlefield medical care. Patriot Defense has conducted similar coaching training events for Ukrainian military forces since May, and has provided members who completed training Individual First-Aid Kits, the statement said.
On Thursday, the United Nations said that the death rate in Ukraine has climbed in the past eight weeks despite a ceasefire called in September, according to a report from Reuters. More than Over 4,000 fighters and civilians have died since pro-Russian rebels began taking control of border areas in early April.
SOCEUR is comprised of the exercises control of one Army Special Forces battalion (1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne); the ), one Air Force Special Operations Group (352nd Special Operations Group;) and one Naval Special Warfare Unit (Naval Special Warfare Unit 2), according to European Command's website.
This story was updated to reflect the U.S.'s mission is not a training mission because "training falls under different authorities than we possess right now," EUCOM officials told Military Times.