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European Command, Ukrainian Leaders Meet to Discuss Teamwork

By Lt. Corey B. Barker, USN
Special to American Forces Press Service

GARMISCH, Germany, April 12, 2006 – Senior officers from U.S. European Command and the Ukrainian military met here April 5 during the annual U.S.-Ukraine Colonels Working Group.

The two-day workshop focused on future military-to-military opportunities, including joint military objectives, priorities, programs, exercises and assessment mechanisms.

Workshop coordinator Army Lt. Col. Richard Guffey said the group is the focal point of EUCOM's military-to-military cooperation efforts. "We set the agenda for the next two years," Guffey said.

Army Col. Michael Anderson, EUCOM's European Division chief, spearheaded the gathering. He defined the workshop as a continuation of an initiative begun in January 2004. It is meant to act as a roundtable for discussing and planning future interactions and increasing the military cooperation between the U. S. and the Ukraine.

"I think we have come a long way since 2004, as today we have very ambitious goals to strengthen our military-to-military relationship," he said.

The Ukrainian delegation, headed by Col. Oleskander Sherstuik of the Ukrainian General Staff, was very interested in continuing to improve cooperation and engagement opportunities as much as the Americans.

Sherstuik stressed the workshop as a very important push for future development, and that efforts must move forward. "We can spend endless time planning; however, we must ensure we initiate our plans into action", he said.

"Cooperation between the Ukraine and the United States, one of NATO's leading countries, should be focused at supporting key objectives of military development and strengthening democratic control over the armed forces," said Ukranian Lt. Col. Olexander Krushelnyski, chief of the 4th Regional Cooperation Section.

(Navy Lt. Corey B. Barker is a public affairs actions officer at U.S. European Command headquarters.)

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