Operation UNIFIER committed to lasting change for the Ukrainian Military Law and Order Service

A Ukrainian soldier uses a brush to put powder on a door frame
A Ukrainian Armed Forces member participating in the Military Police Transition Course takes fingerprints during the Patrol and Investigation portion of the course in spring 2018. (Photo Joint Task Force – Ukraine)


By Major Victor Ethier, 25 Military Police Training Centre Deputy Commandant, Joint Task Force-Ukraine

Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members have been helping to implement lasting change in the Ukrainian Military Law and Order Service (MLOS) during Operation UNIFIER.

The CAF is assisting the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) to transform their MLOS into a professional and effective military police force that meets their needs and is in line with common NATO standards. To do that, the CAF partnered with the AFU to co-chair the Military Police Subcommittee. Its task is to determine and implement the best practices to bring the newly formed Military Police Service in line with those of more western nations.

One of those best practices has been the creation of a 12 week Transition Course, run out of the newly opened 25 Military Police Training Centre in L’viv, Ukraine. This course provides new standards in Military Police training and methodologies to Ukrainian troops who are already doing the work. This allows them to transition to a new way of conducting operations.

The course is run with the help of interested and engaged partners, like Denmark, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and the NATO Military Police Centre of Excellence. It provides expertise and assistance to Ukraine in flexible modules that can be modified and adapted based on their needs.

Sixty students participated in the third iteration of the course, which started at the end of May 2018.

While the Transition Course was an important step, the real focus is on the development of the Military Police basic and advanced courses to provide the necessary organizational foundation towards professionalization.

In April 2018, the first ever Occupational Specification Board was conducted for the MLOS. Experts came from units across Ukraine and from Operation UNIFIER to lay out the training needs and identify the main MLOS tasks.

In the coming months, CAF members will continue to work with Ukrainian partners on a number of developments. For instance, the Training Centre is building a plan to run a Basic Military Police course in early 2019. Partners are also working on an Advanced Military Police Course targeted towards senior sergeants, similar to a qualification available to Canadian military members. There are further plans to integrate a Military Police Officer course into Ukrainian military academies.

“The development of the Occupational Specification marks a milestone for the Military Law and Order Service,” says Major Oleg Kernytsky, Commandant of 25 Military Police Training Centre. “It will have an enduring effect on our service long after the international community has completed their assistance here.”

There is also ongoing investment by the MLOS Headquarters. The Military Police Training Centre will be modernized and upgraded to increase its capacity to over 210 students by the summer of 2019. In addition, general donations of equipment from several nations, including Canada, will see the Training Centre become increasingly more state of the art to offer professional, effective and impactful training.

Due to the successful training model employed at the Military Police Training Centre, other training, advise, and assist groups within Operation UNIFIER are adapting this model to their training needs. This is creating a uniform and cohesive training delivery structure for the AFU to employ. The MLOS Training stream within Operation UNIFIER is just one more way Canada is creating a lasting impact for Ukraine.

Image gallery

  •  A Canadian soldier and a civilian woman stand in front of a projector screen
  • A Ukrainian soldier uses a brush to put powder on a door frame
  • Military members look in the back of a van
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