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UK DIO Committed to Training Ukraine Armed Forces

Attention to detail to create realistic training areas is part of the DIO offer [Crown Copyright]

Today is Ukraine Armed Forces Day and UK DIO is proud to be playing a key role in supporting the UK-based training of Ukrainian volunteer recruits.


News Release, Lichfield, 04 December 2023: Today is Ukraine Armed Forces Day and DIO is proud to be playing a key role in supporting the UK-based training of thousands of Ukrainian volunteer recruits. As well as delivering the feeding and housing of trainees, our teams across the Defence Training Estate are working hard to ensure that the training, and training facilities, are as realistic and fully immersive as possible.

There are a total of six Defence Training Estate sites currently being used, spanning a total of 18,410 hectares across different parts of the UK – that’s equivalent to almost 45,500 football pitches. Some of the training areas have been specifically adapted to deliver bespoke facilities to meet the specific needs of the Ukrainian trainees. At such sites, it’s a mammoth task, the building of Russian-style trench systems alone at one site required the excavation of 15,000 tonnes of material and 70 kilometres of wire. One urban training village in East Anglia has undergone a complete makeover to ensure the training for the Ukrainian volunteers is as realistic as possible.

Ukraine trainees learning battle-proven skills and expertise on the Defence Training Estate [Crown Copyright]

Captain Joe Heywood (4 SCOTS) is the Training Officer for the revamped village, he said: “This facility is used to replicate fighting in villages or built-up areas. What we have here is a really good replica of what the trainees would see in Ukraine.

“The realistic nature of this facility is really useful, it helps them to get a feel for moving about the terrain, building ‘muscle memory’ – it’s a very immerse experience for those training. It looks like a war-torn village, which really helps for when they arrive on the frontline back in Ukraine.”

As well as creating state-of-the-art training areas, DIO has also provided 50 classrooms to enable the delivery of lessons such as essential first aid and the theory behind basic combat skills.

The Training Estate is constantly poised to support pre-deployment training for our own personnel at short notice, so the training areas are running at a high tempo. DIO teams, along with Training Estate contractor Landmarc Support Services (Landmarc), play a vital role in enabling not only the training exercises but also ensuring that supporting infrastructure and facilities are available.

There has been a huge uplift in the less glamorous tasks delivered, with Landmarc working closely with DIO to manage the surge in catering, laundry and waste disposal. Supporting the delivery of Ukraine training, in a year, there were 3,238,499 meals served, 259,128 bags of laundry cleaned and an additional 600,657kg of waste processed.

DIO Senior Training Safety Officer for the urban village, Smudge Smith, explained: “DIO is housing the troops, feeding the troops and we are giving them the safe place to train. We manage the access and availability of all the training facilities that the troops require so it’s a big task, even at this one site.

“This urban training village has really enhanced the training, we have smoke generators, noise simulators, crashed vehicles, rubble, and that sort of thing. DIO has brought that in to give the soldiers under training a realistic but safe place to train. It’s all part of the support we can offer.”

The training being delivered on our sites has so far helped to equip around 30,000 Ukrainian personnel with battle-proven skills and expertise.


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