British Army to Facilitate National Infrastructure Defense Training for Ukraine

The British Army has introduced a training program to aid Ukraine in protecting its critical national infrastructure (CNI) this winter from Russia’s aggression.

Led by the service’s Royal Engineers command, the initiative aims to protect civilians from damage caused by drones and missiles, which, according to the army, are among the “greatest threats” to the safety of citizens.

The two-week preparation incorporates lessons on localizing potential blast points, identification of the most vulnerable CNI, impacts of various explosives and weapon systems, and the best location of aerial and physical barrier integrations.

Program trainees will include Ukrainian professionals from the academic, energy, transport, and water sectors.

These experts are encouraged to share knowledge and past experiences to further boost the country’s CNI network resiliency.

“It is essential that Ukraine receives the support it urgently needs throughout the winter, as its civilian population faces mortal danger on a daily basis from Putin’s forces and their indiscriminate campaign of bombardment against its critical infrastructure,” UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps explained.

“The Ukrainian people have demonstrated unwavering resilience in the face of this illegal invasion and this tailored package of training will help save lives during the bitterly cold winter months, where access to reliable energy is of vital importance.”

Producing ‘Real-Life Impact’

Instructors will comprise Royal Engineers specialist reservists who have been working with British CNI industry partners, contributing to delivering training sessions on associated elements such as military airstrips, gasworks, and port facilities.

The majority of these experiences were honed through overseas deployments, such as flood assessments in Bangladesh and earthquake damage evaluations in Nepal, the army noted.

Lectures will involve real-life scenarios to sharpen the practical skills of participants, enabling the most efficient protection for their CNI sites.

Russian missile strike in Ukraine
A residential building damaged following Russian strike in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia. Image: AFP

“There is no doubt this training will be implemented in Ukraine in the coming weeks and have a real-life impact on the quality of life of its civilians and the ability for Ukraine to resist Russian attacks throughout the winter,” 63 Works Group Royal Engineers’ Maj. Michael Suddaby stated.

“The Ukrainian participants were extremely motivated and will be able to apply the specialist force protection measures and the infrastructure assessment methods delivered on this course to support their country.”

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