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NEWS | May 15, 2024

Pennsylvania Guard Prepares to Train Ukrainian Forces

By Capt. Cory Johnson, 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – Col. Stuart James, the First Army Senior Regular Army Advisor to the Pennsylvania National Guard, instructed the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, on Engagement-Area Development May 14.

The independence brigade is preparing for mobilization to the Joint Multinational Training Center to train the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The independence brigade will continue to work with allies and partners to support Ukraine in its fight for sovereignty and freedom.

Within Army doctrine, EA Dev is one of the fundamental principles that guide military operations and provides the framework for how military forces conduct defensive operations to support national objectives. James discussed the seven key points of EA Dev.

“It’s about synchronization. The reason EA Dev. is so important is we’re synchronizing multiple elements to engage in one common fight,“ James said. “If everyone understands this process, we can effectively synchronize those effects, which are multiple forms of contact on the enemy.”

The engagement area is where the infantry leader intends to engage and destroy an enemy force using the massed fires of all available weapons. Leaders combine obstacles to canalize the attacking force into an engagement area. The successful execution of the defense depends on how the leader integrates the obstacle, indirect, and direct fire plans within the engagement area to achieve the infantry platoon’s and squad’s tactical purpose.

“This instruction is foundational. We need to become the subject matter experts so that we can deliver this training to the Ukrainians,” said Col. Christopher Costello, independence brigade commander.

The brigade has been vigorously training throughout the past year for its mobilization, working on basic Soldier skills, tactics, techniques and procedures, driven by Army doctrine, which provides the standard frame of reference including intellectual tools that Army leaders use to solve military problems.

“Knowing the process and the steps reduces fear and stress in Soldiers, ensuring they are confident in what they are doing,“ James said. “That’s why process is so important because we are all on the same page. If we all have a situational understanding, then we’re going to win.” 



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