This month marks one year since the escalation of the military conflict in Ukraine. In response to this, British Forces have increased their training and joint military exercises.
In the spring and summer of 2022, thousands of British troops took part in exercises across Europe. Then, in the autumn, the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force engaged in the largest combined amphibious exercises in recent years in Cyprus.
Earlier this month, further training in the UK for Ukrainian military was announced, including a programme for marines and fighter jet pilots.
In the last six months 10,000 Ukrainian troops have passed through the programme to bring them to battle readiness. This year, a further 20,000 personnel will be upskilled in the UK.
SASRA Scripture Reader Dave Hossack had the opportunity to meet Ukrainian soldiers during their training. Dave assisted in conducting a field service for Ukrainian trainees in August:
It was so humbling and an utter privilege to spend such a short time with these people and to be able to share the good news.
Whilst they were here training, others found themselves facing section attacks, the sound of gunfire, smoke grenades and thunder flashes. In a few days’ time, this would be a reality for these people. They had been told it was likely that they’d go straight to the front line after their training. For some, they may never see their loved ones again.
We prayed that God would watch over them and protect them in these turbulent times.
As more Ukrainian troops spend time training in the UK, there will be more opportunities for our Scripture Readers to come alongside them to offer a word in season.