Kyiv, March 15, 2016. The first stage of a pilot project launched by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on informing and supporting of personnel – High mobility groups of internal communication, said Ruslan Kavatsiuk, Advisor to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“Finding the key answers regarding the ways of addressing problem issues in communications, especially in the ATO zone, was very important for us. Soldiers there are often cut out from traditional sources of information and remain in specific information environment, influenced both by enemy’s mass media and the lack of access to information, including internal information,” said Kavatsiuk. All this needs active high quality internal communications.
“In early October last year the Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak signed the Communication Strategy for the Armed Forces. A number of projects take place at present as a part of its implementation,” said Oleksiy Makukhin, Advisor to the Minister of Defense of Ukraine. “ Technical assistance from the US partners, non-governmental organization “Spirit of America” and Ukrainian NGO “Initiative Є+” will be engaged for the purposes of the High mobility groups of internal communications project.
Head of the project, Colonel Oleh Boiko, first Deputy Head of the Main Department for Moral and Psychological Work with the Personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that mobile teams are working in all the sectors of the ATO zone, which on one hand help commanders in their work with the personnel, and on the other hand report the found problems personally the Army General Viktor Muzhenko, Chief of the General Staff and Chief Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to Boiko, the activity High mobility groups allows creating effective system of commanders’ communication with personnel, support moral and spirit of forces and psychological readiness to fulfill combat tasks. Organizing regular feedback from troops and receiving reliable information by the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine aimed at identifying and timely addressing challenging issues exerting negative influence on moral and psychological condition of the military personnel is extremely important. “The objective of the project is to hear people, support them and provide competent answers to the questions they are interested in […]. These are the groups of the first-line support,” emphasized Boiko.
The head of the project said there is a number of High mobility groups of internal communication. This is an Alpha group of information psychological aid consisting of an inspecting officer, ideologist, military chaplain and military psychologist. The Beta group involves inspecting officers and a team of performers serving the troops’ cultural needs. The Gamma group consists of combat instructors organizing trainings regarding fire adjustment, firearms and physical training, tactical medicine directly in places of subdivisions location. The Omega staff group coordinates activity of all the groups, secures logistics and communication with the personnel, explained Boiko.
Lieutenant Colonel Volodymyr Kashliuk, Head of the Main Department for Moral and Psychological Work with the Personnel, Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that the troops are mostly interested in moral and political issues, development and prospects of the Armed Forces, material support, weapons development and social issues.
According to Colonel Victor Shydliuk, deputy head of the Central Research Institute of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a number of practices introduced in the army were prepared within the framework of the project. “A human life is the greatest value, so we based these new practices on this belief,” emphasized Col. Shydliuk. The result of our work is now united in books “Methodology of situational leadership”, “Methodology for raising commanders’ authority with military personnel” etc.
Father Andriy Zielinskiy, military chaplain, said that the main task of the High mobility groups of internal communication is taking care of Ukrainian soldiers, especially in places where the situation is the most difficult. They need to take care of soldier’s stout heartedness, his/her motivation, mental and psychological state. Not a single soldier can be left alone with his/her troubles. “The main objective is taking care of Ukrainian soldiers. One of our tasks is reaching out to everyone, hearing everyone, supportting and helping them all,” emphasized the military chaplain.