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Nov 25 2022

Ukrainian cadets conclude educational visit to SHAPE with a trip to the Belgium Ardennes

MONS, Belgium – A select group of Ukrainian Armed Forces cadets wrapped up a visit to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) with a 2 day educational tour to the Belgium Ardennes to study the Battle of the Bulge.

With the support of the US Army Centre of Military History and US Africa Command, the cadets underwent a demanding Staff Ride schedule studying key events including platoon and company defensive tactics, and a visit to the Bastogne War Museum. The programme also focussed on junior level leadership and NCO relationships.

“After careful consideration, the choice of this area with its World War II history was perfect for the visiting Ukrainian cadets to get the most of field studies. We have been able to look at 1944 period tactical doctrine, under guidance from experts, and assessed Rear Area Security, Defence in Depth and Hasty Attack principles. The cadets have compared relevant historical actions against their own experiences and many salient lessons have been learned,” said Major Alex Churnushin, SHAPE Partnership Directorate. “Despite the passage of time the Ardennes Campaign continues to reflect tried and tested tactics that are still relevant today. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has clearly shown this.”

A further series of specific campaign studies were presented to the cadets including tactical dilemmas that focussed the cadets on preparing orders and preparing their own plans. Urban combat using the example of the Battle of Noville was also studied, including tactical level logistics and casualty evacuation.

Finally, whilst in Baugnez, the Ukrainian delegation laid flowers at the Malmedy Massacre Memorial as a tribute to the victims of atrocities committed in war followed by a closing ceremony for all involved.

Story and video by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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