Defense One
May 4, 2022

Task Force Gator Back to Training Ukrainians as Battle Rages For the Donbas

Members of the Florida National Guard unit that was training Ukrainians in the days before Russia invaded are back at it, getting Ukrainian soldiers spun up on the new hardware the U.S. has sent….

The American soldiers are not in Ukraine, but in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, where they’ve begun training Ukrainians on U.S. artillery.

“We’re taking small groups of Ukrainian soldiers who are already working in those career fields, so for the howitzers, they are already Ukrainian artillerymen,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph Hilbert, who leads the 7th Army training command at U.S. European Command.


The National Guard members are on their second group of Ukrainian soldiers to train since the weapons transfers began, Hilbert said.


A senior defense official said “90 percent” of the 90 155mm Howitzers and 90,000 of the 144,000 rounds the U.S. has pledged to Ukraine have been delivered.

Task Force Gator was sent to Lviv last November as part of a regular rotation of National Guard units from across the U.S. that have worked with the Ukrainians.


U.S. Department of Defense
May 4, 2022

DOD Leaders Say Training Ukrainian Forces Is Paying Dividends

Defense Department leaders said today that the training of Ukrainian forces by Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine has paid off….

Ukrainian service members trained at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center in the Lviv region of western Ukraine right up until the Russian invasion in February. The most recent trainers were part of Task Force Gator, composed of the Florida Army National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

From the beginning of that training mission until January 2022, the 7th Army Training Command had trained a total of 23,000 Ukrainians in Yavoriv, said Army Brig. Gen. Joseph Hilbert, commander of the 7th Army Training Command.

In February, the U.S. European Command repositioned Task Force Gator to Grafenwoehr, Germany, where the unit continues to train Ukrainians on a variety of U.S. and NATO weaponry to enable them to defend their nation.