The Global Security Contingency Fund Builds Greater U.S.-Ukrainian Security Cooperation

In 2014, Russian forces occupied and attempted to annex Crimea in violation of Ukrainian’s sovereignty. Soon after, Russia began arming, training, directing, and fighting alongside separatists in eastern Ukraine. To defend and deter against further Russian aggression, Ukraine sought assistance to build the capacity of its newly-formed National Guard.

Through the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF), the U.S. Departments of State and Defense pooled funding and expertise to jointly respond to the situation. The GSCF enables the U.S. government to respond to a wide range of complex security challenges such as assisting Ukraine to deter Russian aggression, helping the Philippines improve maritime security, and supporting Nigeria and its neighbors in their fight against Boko Haram.

Working together, the Departments developed a tailored plan to train and equip four Ukrainian National Guard companies and tactical headquarters elements. As a part of this project, the United States deployed trainers from the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade to Ukraine’s International Peacekeeping and Security Center at Yavoriv in April 2015. The U.S. soldiers worked with the Ukrainian Guardsmen to improve their ability to conduct platoon and company level operations, to deploy small-unit patrols, to disseminate battlefield medicine, and to execute live-fire exercises. In addition to training the Ukrainian forces, the United States also provided vital equipment, including uniforms, cold weather gear, body armor, medical supplies, night vision devices, and tactical radios.

U.S. soldiers and Ukrainian Guardsmen participate in an after-action review following a live fire exercise funded through the Global Security Contingency Fund. [DVIDS photo]

By the end of the GSCF project in November 2015, the trainers from the 173rd successfully trained approximately 750 Ukrainian National Guard soldiers. The training not only improved individual Ukrainian soldiers’ military skills but also built and sustained the professionalism of the National Guard as a whole.

Since then, we have seen the Ukrainian National Guard put its newfound skills to use. The National Guard used the training to improve its tactical and planning skills, and applied the lessons learned to update its own training practices. They have also demonstrated flexibility and adaptability as an organization which plays a critical role in bolstering Ukraine’s security. 

The GSCF project in Ukraine also established a foundation for more traditional security assistance programs by offering a near-term bridge to a longer-term solution. The GSCF project now serves as a model for the Joint Multinational Training Group -- Ukraine, the name given to ongoing training efforts for Ukrainian conventional and special operations forces.

The success of the Ukraine project demonstrates why GSCF is an important part of the U.S. government’s toolbox for addressing crises around the world. By working together, the Departments of State and Defense can address urgent challenges and exploit vital opportunities as they arise while laying the groundwork for traditional security assistance programs.

About the Author: Kevin Tierney serves in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

For more information:



Patrick W.
Maryland, USA
July 6, 2016
I think the Russian/Ukrainian people living in Crimea decided too become part of Russia , because they were afraid of what was going on in the Ukraine. They needed to feel secure in there own home against the groups that were terrorizing the Russian's living in the Ukraine and the insecurity of the Ukraine at that point in time. If they didn't do anything we would not be supporting and helping build the security up in the Ukraine right now. So, thank the Russian's !
August 19, 2016
I'm glad to hear sensible man from the United States!
Skhodnya D.
September 29, 2016
Do not believe the lies of American propaganda. You want the truth then come to Crimea and ask the local citizens. And Victoria Nuland officially acknowledged that the coup (Maidan) in Ukraine, the us government invested $ 5 billion. Thank you, Patrick. Our country needs just to live peacefully. Amen.
U.S. trainers worked with their counterparts to improve important skills, including operational planning.
Posted by Kevin Tierney
July 5, 2016


Latest Stories

January 19, 2017

What We Got Right

With a new administration taking office this week, it is natural to assess the inheritance it will receive from the… more