Australia’s contingent of soldiers from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (5RAR), have arrived in the UK for Operation Kudu, joining the British Army to help train Ukrainian recruits.
CAPTION: An Australian Army soldier from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, warms his hands during loading of bags and stores onto transport after arriving into the United Kingdom as part of Operation Kudu. Photo by Corporal Jonathan Goedhart.
The Aussie contingent of up to 70 ADF personnel from tropical Darwin have joined partner nations in bloody freezing conditions in the UK-led and -based training program for Ukrainian recruits.
Training conducted under this operation will generate additional capacity within the Armed Forces of Ukraine and will focus on basic infantry tactics for urban and wooded environments – helping Ukrainian recruits gain the military skills needed to defend their homeland.
Minister for Defence Personnel Matt Keogh said Ukraine was facing an existential crisis and was reliant on a volunteer civilian-based army to defend their country.
“Whether they’re hairdressers or taxi drivers or people from all walks of life, they have a complete commitment to defending their country,” Mr Keogh said.
“But what they need is training – training in infantry tactics, infantry skills, so they can bring the best soldiering training forward to defend their nation.”
The Aussie contingent conducted mission-specific training in Darwin in December to prepare for their deployment to the UK.
No ADF personnel will enter Ukraine as part of the program.
To date, Australia has provided Ukraine with approximately $655 million in support, including $475 million in military assistance.