Australia will join an international military operation from January next year, to provide critical training for Ukrainian troops.
Australia’s Department of Defence (Defence) said Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel will deploy to the United Kingdom to support British-led Operation Interflex. No ADF personnel will enter Ukraine, Defence confirmed.
Up to 70 ADF personnel, will join those from New Zealand, Canada and various European countries who already helping to generate additional capacity within the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles, said military assistance was at the centrepiece of Australia’s support. “Our soldiers will be part of a large training programme in the United Kingdom to help prepare their Ukrainian mates for their struggle against Russia’s unwarranted and unlawful aggression,” Marles added.
Australia has also committed to providing 30 additional Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles to the Ukrainian Military, bringing the total number of gifted Bushmasters to 90. Ukraine has received approximately $655 million in support from Australia, including $475 million in military assistance.
The Australian Logistics Training Centre (ALTC), played a key role in developing a Ukrainian training package for operating the Bushmasters, some of which are also fitted with protected weapons systems. ALTC personnel helped fast-track a maintenance and familiarisation guide for the Ukrainian military for the vehicles. The intention was to get the Bushmasters operational within a few hours of arriving in Ukraine. The ALTC specialists scripted and performed the maintenance procedures, capturing them on video and then had them translated into Ukrainian.
The Bushmaster provides protection against mines and improvised explosive devices, as well as shrapnel from artillery and small-arms fire. The blast-resistant vehicle is more than seven metres long and weighs 12.5 tonnse. It can deploy up to 10 battle-ready troops.