Partnership without borders: Ukrainian Territorial Defense receives training center from Come Back Alive, people of Poland, and Baykar collaboration
Come Back Alive, the Foundation for Competent Assistance to the Ukrainian Army, has delivered a mobile modular camp worth $1.2 million to the Training Center of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This project was made possible thanks to the support from the people of Poland and Turkish company Baykar.
In July 2022, an initiative led by journalist Sławomir Sierakowski raised over 22.5 million zlotys to purchase the Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial complex for the Ukrainian army. More than 200,000 people contributed to the campaign. In a generous move, the Turkish manufacturer Baykar decided to donate the complex to the Ukrainian Armed Forces for free. The company proposed redirecting the collected funds towards charitable organizations that support Ukrainian citizens and the army. As a result, Sławomir Sierakowski transferred 5.13 million zlotys and $600,000 to the Come Back Alive Foundation.
“I am very happy that this center is being built. The Ukrainians taught us the principle that only a well-trained soldier can survive a war. I believe that the center’s project, like Bayraktar itself, is not only military aid, but also the most humane way of waging war, because it reduces the loss of life. We need more of this from EUropean Union countries and beyond. Ukrainians are fighting for the freedom not only of themselves, but of Poland and all of Eastern Europe. It is we who should thank them for their support, not the other way around. Therefore, I join in thanking you for your great struggle and dedication to freedom”, says Sławomir Sierakowski.
The Foundation used 5.13 million zlotys (approximately $1.2 million) to procure a mobile modular camp from a Polish company. The camp comprises 31 residential and educational tents, lighting and power systems, heaters, furniture, camouflage coverings, laundry and medical facilities, generators, air conditioning, and firearm racks.
The remaining $600,000 was allocated to order two specialized repair stations for the army. The stations play a crucial role in the maintenance and repair of American HMMWVs and other Western vehicles.
“High-quality training for our soldiers is the cornerstone of a high-capacity army,” emphasizes Major General Ihor Tansyura, Commander of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces:
“The better soldiers prepare in the training camp, the more effectively they will perform combat tasks on the front line. However, proper preparation requires appropriate conditions. These modular mobile camps are an effective and necessary solution to meet this need. Here, a soldier not only has the opportunity to rest after a hard day’s training, but can also prepare well for the next tasks. We are grateful to our Polish and Turkish friends and the Come Back Alive Foundation for their help and deeply appreciate their support.”
“This marks the first tripartite international project in the history of the Foundation. We spent over half a year negotiating with our partners, coordinating all the implementation details,” says Ruslana Velychko, a lawyer and a Come Back Alive volunteer, who also serves as the First Deputy Executive Director of the Ukrainian Veterans Foundation. “It was challenging. No other charitable organization in Ukraine has undertaken something like this so far. However, this experience has endowed us with a greater capacity for international collaboration to aid our military.”
“Baykar proposed to the Polish donors that they transfer part of the raised funds to the Foundation, thanks to our previous effective cooperation,” adds Ruslana Velychko.
Last year, Come Back Alive became the first charitable organization in Ukraine authorized to procure dual-use and military purpose items abroad, including lethal weapons. The Foundation is the only non-governmental organization that has purchased a Bayraktar TB2. In August 2022, Come Back Alive and Baykar signed a Memorandum of Partnership.
“I feel deep pride and gratitude for the opportunity to be part of this historic project,” says Baykar’s CEO Haluk Bayraktar. “Our Bayraktar TB2 is not just a drone, it is a symbol of our commitment to innovation and technological progress. We believe that our technology can help strengthen Ukraine’s defense and support it in its fight for freedom and independence. This project underscores our belief in the power of technology and its ability to change the world for the better. We are proud to be part of this international collaboration and continue to stand side by side with the Ukrainian people for their freedom.”
“Poland united and raised huge funds for Ukraine. The Baykar Corporation also demonstrated an example of support for us in this war. And our Foundation served as a guarantor between the two countries, ensuring the high-quality, transparent, and competent use of these funds. This unprecedented level of trust represents both a responsibility and an exciting challenge for us,” comments Taras Chmut, Director of Come Back Alive.
Come Back Alive is the Foundation for Competent Assistance to the Ukrainian Army. It is also a nonprofit organization that conducts security and defense research and promotes the rehabilitation of Ukrainian veterans through sports. CBA has been working to strengthen the Ukrainian army since 2014. To date, the Foundation has raised over 8 billion hryvnias to meet the needs of the Defense Forces, procuring various types of machinery, equipment, and transport among other things. CBA employs an instructor team that trains highly qualified specialists, including EOD specialists, drone operators, artillerymen, and snipers. The team is also committed to implementing Western standards of tactical medicine within the Armed Forces.
Baykar is a globally-renowned Turkish defense company that began its UAV production in 2000. Established in 1986, the company originally focused on manufacturing automotive parts, but eventually pivoted to unmanned aerial complexes. Baykar currently makes UAVs for both the domestic and international markets. The company is particularly known for its combat drones Bayraktar TB2 and Bayraktar Akinci.