RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Florida National Guard unit of 165 soldiers was at a now-bombed Ukraine military training center as recently as last month.
At least 35 people were killed and 134 wounded early Sunday when Russia fired 30 missiles at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in western Ukraine
The Florida National Guard deployed there in November 2021. The base, called the Yavoriv Combat Training Center, is less than 15 miles from the Polish border.
The National Guard troops worked with Armed Forces Ukraine to enhance combat training and increase training capacity to four Armed Forces Ukraine Brigades.
Early last month, Florida troops trained Ukrainian soldiers how to use the M141 Bunker Defeat Munition.
At the time they left the United States, the Florida National Guard expected a 9- to 12-month deployment, called Task Force Gator. Florida troops first arrived in Albania and then traveled to the Ukrainian base.
The visit by the Florida soldiers was the 11th deployment of U.S. soldiers to the training center, according to Stars and Stripes.
The Florida unit was ordered to leave Ukraine on Feb. 12 — less than two weeks before Russia attacked and invaded Ukraine, the Military Times reported.
WFLA and The Associated Press contributed to this report