NATO standards as a heal-all for Ukrainian army

Author : Iryna Sampan

Source : 112 Ukraine

As of September 27, 2017 Ukraine's national regulations took into account the norms of 126 NATO documents
11:44, 27 October 2017

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112 Agency

Two years ago, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak stated that he was setting "ambitious goals" in the reforming of the Ukrainian army. In November 2015, he approved the Plan for the implementation of key measures for the transition of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to NATO standards. This plan shows that by 2020 Ukraine must carry out reforms in the defense department and that these steps will make the Ukrainian army similar to the army of the alliance countries.

According to the official response of the Ministry of Defense, by 2020 134 NATO standards are subject to processing; Ukraine would develop its own documents on their basis.

"As of July 1, 2017, according to these partnership goals, 24 NATO standards have been implemented through the development of 21 national and military regulatory documents," the letter says.

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It was necessary to develop strategic documents, in which these plans were signed, agreed and signed. In May 2015, the National Security Strategy was published, which determined how to build a new defense system of the country, oriented to Euro-Atlantic standards and values. In September 2015, the Military Doctrine was introduced, which outlines the main threats to Ukraine in the military sphere, the basis for countering them and the direction of military reform. In March 2016, Concept for the Development of the Security and Defense Sector was approved.

These three documents became the basis for the development of the Strategic Defense Bulletin of Ukraine. June 6, 2016 it was approved by the president. Defense reform means restructuring Ministry of Defense by 2018, and by 2020 - the General Staff and the Supreme Armed Forces as a whole.

The alliance includes almost three dozen countries, each of them has its own characteristics in the management of its own troops. Each NATO member country has its own national standardization system. But when the servicemen are part of the NATO contingent, they are guided by common standards.

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Standardization agreements (STANAG) are published in English and French, the two official languages of NATO. They are generated by the NATO standardization agency, located in Brussels. There are about 1300 STANAGs for today.

One of the standards of individual training of a soldier might show how it works. For example, the element "visual warning techniques (hand signal)," in simple terms, hand gestures for communication. In a multinational unit, the military should understand the commander and each other (in this case, without words).That is, when forming a multinational group that performs a certain operation, all servicemen should show the same signals, so the others will understand them. This is the simplest example of so-called interoperability - the ability to interact effectively. During the international drills of Rapid Trident this year, American instructors said that the Ukrainian soldiers they trained were well acquainted with the course of individual training, but at the unit level, there is still a lot of work to be done.

NATO standards have yet to be adjusted to the Ukrainian realities, and then it will work. STANAGs can be conditionally divided into administrative (management and documentation), operational (the use of troops) and material and technical (armament, equipment, equipment).

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According to experts from the Department of Standardization, Codification and Cataloging, which is in the structure of the Ministry of Defense, technical STANAGs are the most long-term and most costly to be implemented. To date, the development, modernization and purchase of weapons and military equipment is compated with NATO standards. This is stated by the Department of Military-Technical Policy, Development of Arms, and Military Equipment of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Equipment, unsuitable for use and modernization, must be written off and disposed. But the soldiers joke that Ukrainian military equipment has a high "pain threshold and stress resistance" and will sustain more than one war! Therefore, such reports, which relate to the global modernization of technology, are skeptical, because life is different.

Concerning the example of NATO's administrative standards. Stepan Poltorak said in one of his interviews that the ministry should be reformatted like the "J-structure" that exists in all NATO countries, under which there is a clear distribution of functions. It provides an opportunity to make decisions promptly on the ground.

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Also, the management vertical of the General Directorate of Personnel (J1), the General Directorate for Defense and Mobilization Planning of the General Staff (J5) will be reorganized, and the Main Logistics Directorate (J4) and the General Administration of Training (J7) will be established.

As of September 27, 2017, the development of national regulations and documents took into account the norms of 126 NATO regulations, including STANAG.

Foreign advisers help Ukraine to reform their defense structures, they do not enter the Ukrainian Defense Ministry or the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Now 61 foreign advisers from 13 NATO member countries are rendering advisory assistance to the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff. Among them are six high-level strategic advisers attached to the Reform Committee of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine from the United States, Great Britain, the Republic of Lithuania, Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland. Countries that provide advisory assistance are the Kingdom of the Netherlands - 1, Canada - 5, the Kingdom of Norway - 1, Great Britain - 7, the Kingdom of Denmark - 1, the USA - 35, Germany - 2, Lithuania - 5, Czech Republic - 3, Poland - 2, Hungary - 1, Romania - 1, and the Republic of Estonia - 1.

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In addition, foreign instructors constantly train Ukrainian military personnel on the training grounds. Also, some Ukrainian educational institutions have introduced the NATO Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP) into their programs. In addition to NATO member countries, 13 countries are participating in DEEP implementation today (Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Serbia, Croatia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine).

At this stage, Ukraine is interesting for NATO. It is a country that practices the theory not only at the landfills, but also in real combat operations. A country that develops and fights both with an external enemy and with internal corruption - total corruption and low motivation for changes in its citizens. Foreigners are surprised at how the Ukrainian troops in 2014, without any technical equipment, normal communication, training of personnel, or a single command, with a large number of deserters, could keep the defense, fight back and conduct a raid in the enemy's rear. There are just over two years left by 2020. There are a lot of tasks, logistical reforms are especially costly. It is necessary to change Soviet technology to a new one, modernize the means of communication, so that it does not look like the 45th year. Ukraine should digitize the document circulation and establish a decent cyber defense; it is necessary to raise the money supply of servicemen, so that the Armed Forces are a competitive employer. It is important to work on the ideological component, create the idea of a modern Ukrainian army, not the remnant of the Soviet one.

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