Army National Guard Sergeant Assists Ukrainian Armed Forces During Deployment • Coral Springs Talk



Army National Guard Sergeant Samuel Amador returns home to Coral Springs after his deployment to Ukraine

By Agrippina Fadel

“We wanted to stay and help in any way we could,” Coral Springs resident Samuel Amador said of his unit evacuated from Ukraine in February, just days before Russian forces invaded the country.

Florida National Guard First Sergeant and Maneuver Advisor Amador deployed to Ukraine in November 2021 as part of Task Force Gator Infantry Brigade Combat Team, training, advising and mentoring forces local armies.

The troops were part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine International Peacekeeping and Security Center, which trains, equips and provides assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

“Our job there was to advise the Ukrainian forces until we had to evacuate a week before the invasion. It was difficult to leave. Being in the army, we wanted to help,” he said. declared.

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U.S. European Command repositioned Amador’s team to Grafenwoehr, Germany, where they waited out the reserve mission until they learned the unit would be training the Ukrainians again, this time in the Baltic countries.

“For the next two months, I was responsible for training them in the use of the M777 Howitzer guns that we ship,” he said. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the United States has supplied Ukraine with more than a hundred such guns and cartridges.

Amador said that while American troops saw the writing on the wall, the Ukrainians he talked to and trained “didn’t expect the invasion.”

“Even when the Russians began to assemble their troops for the ‘training exercise’ [before the attack on February 24], the Ukrainians we spoke to were still saying: “this is normal”. They were unafraid and used to military activity after years of Russian military presence,” he said.

Amador said he and his team were happy to start coaching the Ukrainians again, who were “eager to learn and get as much information as possible about the equipment and tactics they knew they would use in the next few days to defend their homes and families.”

Army National Guard Sgt.

Ukrainian forces training, Samuel Amador on the left {Courtesy}

“We could clearly see that the Ukrainians were giving the Russians a good fight, which the Russians weren’t expecting,” he said, adding that the training certainly helped, but when people are fighting for their land and their loved ones, they are “certainly going to surpass someone who fights just for patriotism.”

While stationed at the Yavoriv combat training center in the Lviv region of western Ukraine, Amador saw some nearby towns, including the capital, Kyiv, before the Russians attacked them. .

Army National Guard Sgt.

Ukrainian forces training {Courtesy of Samuel Amador}

“The Ukrainian towns were lovely, the people there were great and the food was delicious,” he said, adding that having traveled all over Western Europe in the past, he was impressed with the culture and the architecture of Ukraine: “It was a really beautiful country.”

Amador added that Ukrainians were very friendly towards JMTG-U staff. “We were there over the holidays, and it was great to see how they celebrate Christmas and New Years and share our traditions,” he said.

A resident of Summer Wind, Amador came with his family from Puerto Rico when he was seven years old. A graduate of Coconut Creek High School, he re-enlisted in the military after four years of active duty in the Marine Corps and has been in the military for over 20 years.

Amador is married and has two daughters. When he returned home in September, his wife Carly shared a video of him surprising his daughters in kindergarten.

During her deployment, Amador trained more than 150 Ukrainians using military equipment, medical aid, combat training and leadership tactics. “It was a very rewarding experience. We had established relationships and bonds with the Ukrainians,” he said.

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Agrippina Fadel
Agrippina Fadel

Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and earned her master’s degree in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has resided in the United States for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.

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