Lessons from Ukraine on ADL in War: Training while we fight
The NATO Partnership for Peace Consortium (PfPC) ADL Working Group organized and conducted a two-day workshop to examine the unique lessons learned from Ukraine on training in war, particularly the effective use of distributed learning. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have demonstrated the transformative power of training and the critical need for robust ADL systems to maintain essential training during warfare. At the PfPC workshop, hosted by the Military Academy “General Mihailo Apostolski” in Skopje, eLearning and security cooperation experts explored ways to make training capabilities more interoperable, resilient, adaptable, survivable, and usable, informed by data-driven insights and equal to the dynamic requirements generated in the contemporary battlefield.
Jefferson Institute President Aaron Presnall is National Chairman of the PfPC ADL Working Group and was one of the workshop’s principal organizers.
The war in Ukraine illustrates that training is both a necessary preparation for armed conflict and a vital capability to sustain the fight after war begins. Since 2014 and throughout the current war, the Ukrainian armed forces have excelled in combining the creative use of eLearning and localized partner-nation content to far outpace Russia in renewing ready, agile manpower for a quickly changing battlespace and a shifting mix of new weapon systems. NATO and allied countries have much to learn from the successful Ukrainian response to the distinct training challenges presented by the war.
The effort to support Ukraine shows the limits and shortcomings of our current security cooperation systems. Ukraine’s partners struggle to deliver relevant interoperable training capabilities at the level of efficiency and usability needed in wartime. A wide range of civilian and military academic institutions in Ukraine are striving to bridge this capability gap, often at the personal initiative of dedicated individuals, but sustainable solutions must be systematic and structural.
With this workshop, the PfPC ADL Working Group took the initial steps in the process of updating our approaches to training, on both the national and Alliance levels. The participants identified specific gaps and shortfalls in current training structures, and developed clear, achievable recommendations for building and maintaining eLearning systems that provide essential military education before and—crucially—during ongoing warfare.
“[We must] use the opportunity to implement the immense insight we as partners have gained from the war in Ukraine into building more robust ADL systems, enhancing our overall security capabilities.”
Col. Mitko Bogdanoski
Dean, Military Academy, North Macedonia