Fifth Mission: April 30 - May2

Gear & Equipment

Summary of Delivery (12,000 Euro)

  • 12 Drones

  • 2 PC tablets

  • 2 Thermal Imaging Telescopes

  • 5 Metal Detectors

  • 15 Trauma First Aid Kits

Some equipment did not arrive in time for delivery ( 5 Range Finders, 2000 Euro )

Also one portable generator for a hospital was additionally arranged for as part of Mission 5.

 

Mission Details

TRIP DISTANCE: Approximately 2400 Km / 1500 miles

Altogether: 22 days on the road    12,000+ Km (8,000 Miles)

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In response to direct requests this load of equipment was divided between:

  • 110th Territorial Brigade near Melitopol

  • 112th Territorial Brigade near Kherson

  • Intell Unit “Gleb”

  • Ukrainian State Emergency Services (civil defense)

News and thoughts on the Mission

I met [name redacted] at a different location this time so that we could sit and talk things over a bit. Lots of interesting information, but a couple of things stood out for me.

At one point, [name redacted] excused himself to take a phone call. Later when he came back, he explained that he serves as translator quite often. A civil defense colleague hit a booby trap while clearing recaptured terrain and lost both legs. He was evacuated to a hospital in the Czech Republic, accompanied by his brother. At points in time, google translate is not good enough so they call [name redacted] to step in and clear things up.

 

As we walked back to the car, [name redacted] expressed to me the frustration he has of being stuck in Slovakia, handling aid supplies and acting as translator. Sixty of his civil defense regional colleagues are being pulled forward to follow soldiers into liberated areas to clear mines, booby traps and IEDs. He and Micha desperately want to go with them.

History is being made in Ukraine that will shape the thoughts and values of Ukrainians for generations to come; just as Battle of the Bulge, or the Alamo have shaped the minds of Americans, and Rorke’s Drift and the Battle of Britain have shaped the minds of the British.

Can’t help but think of Shakespeare Henry V

On the eve of the Battle of Agincourt; King Henry’s speech

 

“From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remember’d;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

Equipment Situation in Ukraine

We talked at length about the current military equipment situation. He gave the example that it took 6 weeks from the time a decision was reached in Slovakia to supply a missile defense system to the point where it finally reached the border at [name redacted].

 

Right now our best weapon is our determination.” - [name redacted]

 

It will take quite some time before the various, new commitments of weapons from NATO will actually be in Ukraine and in use. Meanwhile, the stop-gap weapons already delivered, plus Ukrainian determination is what they will use to continue to fight back.

 

One of the few times that [name redacted] smiled was when he was talking about how scared the Russians are of drones and how they run and hide when they hear one. More are simply better because they keep the Russians in hiding and from moving forward.

 

We also discussed the metal detectors which he appreciates due to their ease of use and portability (collapsible).

 

[name redacted] is very quiet, with such a fresh, young face. [Info redacted] He joined the civil defence to serve his nation, but also because he could serve close to home and help his parents. But not now of course; he is in Slovakia and will be for a while.  Hard not to think of all those other young faces (men and women) in trenches facing the Russians right now.

Summary of the effort so far

56 Drones delivered                                              

25 Metal Detectors

25 Thermal Imaging Scopes                                

15 Trauma First aid kits

1 Portable Generator for a field hospital       

2 PC Tablets for Intell Units

1 Range Finder (five more on back order) (just arrived today)

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Along the way on this trip, there were many fields of Colza in bloom (Rapeseed in English; kind of a bad name). I got to thinking about the Ukrainian flag, and the yellow and blue. When I got home, I checked it out and sure enough, the yellow represents crops/wheat in the fields and blue is the sky.  Not the best photo taken at 120 kph, but you get the idea.

It is simply a great thing that so many people from many countries see fit to side with Ukraine and to try to help out. The international volunteer soldiers who have gone to fight often speak of a ‘moral duty’. They are able to fight. They know the job.

Most of us are not soldiers, paramedics, doctors, nurses,… who have skills that fit the situation in Ukraine. And yet we try by the means we have to help out. That is very laudable and that is what ties us together as humans. Perhaps ‘moral duty’ is the only real hope for humanity; that all of the little efforts for good, will add up to something greater than fear, hatred and evil.

Let’s hope so.

 

And the funny thing is that if you are reading this message, you have already joined in assisting Ukraine. We band of brothers and sisters.

 

Slava Ukraini

 

Bill Daniels