"Eagle one, eagle one, this is eagle two. Do you copy?" a voice on the radio says against blasts and smoke. Cannons roar, soldiers shoot, fire destroys enemy's units... This is not a true battle, but artillerist competition at the base of the 169th training center of Ground Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The competition was held for the first time in history of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Its final took place at the end of October, in Devichki village of Kyiv region. Four troops, which tried out for the final, were competing for the title of the best artillerist troop.

According to the legend, suffering significant losses after previous battles, enemy's troop remnants and several illegal armed units had been pinned down to the river, where they tried to organize perimeter defense using remnants of equipment and ammunition and fortifying houses and facilities.

In order to break down resistance of the enemy, the commanding officer of the tactical task force decided to destroy the most important units of the enemy with artillery fire.

The total of 38 units of artillery and special purpose equipment were used during the competition. The participants performed tasks and training standards on physical fitness, technical and firing proficiency, topographic and tactical navigation. The jury estimated both individual skills of commanding officers and soldiers and teamwork of separate units and troops as a whole.

The jury included the deputy chief of the General Staff of Armed Forces of Ukraine lieutenant general Viktor Muzhenko, army Component Commander colonel-general Gennady Vorobiev, commander of missile forces and artillery major-general Andriy Kolennikov.

The winners are representatives of the artillery battery of artillery group of 30th independent light armored brigade of the Ground Troops from Novograd-Volynskiy (commanding office - Captain Bogdan Prilutski). Apart from the diploma, efficiency award and challenge prize, the winners received cash prize in the amount of 50 thousand hryvnias. Diploma of the second best and 30 thousand hryvnias went to artillery battery of 11th independent artillery brigade of the Ground Troops from Ternopil (commanding office - Captain Serhiy Polyakov). The bronze went to the mortar battery of the first independent marine battalion of the navy (commanding office - Captain Oleh Kandaurov). The best soldiers in each of four nominations were awarded separately with valuable prize and efficiency pennant.

Summing up the results of the competition, army Component Commander colonel-general Gennady Vorobiev noted:

- These ten days you spent in the field competing have brought results. The training has been difficult, but now each of you can draw conclusions and set tasks for future trainings. I thank you for your serious work and persistence. All four teams deserve to be the best.

Everybody was happy with the results - the headquarters, the jury, the militaries themselves. As Gennady Vorobiev promised, next year the competitions will be held not only among artillerists, but also among the best divisions of other troop.

Anastasia Pika, photos by Maxim Trebukhov


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