At least 100 Ukrainian troops are expected to begin training in the United States next week on the Patriot missile aerial defense system.
The news, first reported by CNN, was confirmed Tuesday afternoon by Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder.
The United States has agreed to provide at least one Patriot battery to Ukraine.
Approximately 90 to 100 soldiers will be needed to operate and maintain the system, which will include power generating equipment, computers, an engagement control system and up to eight launchers.
It is not clear how long the training will take, though it is likely the duration will depend at least in part on how quickly the Ukrainian soldiers learn what they need to know in order to operate and maintain the system. The training usually takes about a year for US soldiers.
Once fielded, the Patriot will “contribute to Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and provide another capability to the Ukrainian people to defend themselves against Russia’s ongoing aerial assaults,” Ryder told reporters.
According to the report, the troops will undergo the training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, the same place US soldiers are trained on the system. Fort Sill, home to the US Army’s field artillery school, is one of the military’s four basic training locations.
Ryder said the training, to consist of classroom instruction, training on the Patriot systems themselves, and work in a simulation lab, expected to last at least several months.
US Approves Largest-Ever Military Package for Ukraine
the Department of Defense (DoD) announced last week a commitment by the Biden Administration for $3.075 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine.
The allocation includes the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $2.85 billion to meet Ukraine’s critical security and defense needs, as well as the Department of State’s announcement of $225 million in Foreign Military Financing to “contribute to the long-term capacity and modernization of Ukraine’s military,” the Department of Defense said in a statement.
This is the 29th presidential drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine that the Biden Administration has authorized since August 2021.
Military Laundry List
The package that was approved includes the following:
- 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles with 500 TOW anti-tank missiles and 250,000 rounds of 25mm ammunition;
- 100 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers;
- 55 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs);
- 138 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs);
- 18 155mm self-propelled Howitzers and 18 ammunition support vehicles;
- 70,000 155mm artillery rounds;
- 500 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds;
- 1,200 155mm rounds of Remote Anti-Armor Mine (RAAM) Systems;
- 36 105mm towed Howitzers and 95,000 105mm artillery rounds;
- 10,000 120mm mortar rounds;
- Additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS);
- RIM-7 missiles for air defense;
- 4,000 Zuni aircraft rockets;
- Approximately 2,000 anti-armor rockets;
- Sniper rifles, machine guns, and ammunition for grenade launchers and small arms;
- Claymore anti-personnel munitions;
- Night vision devices and optics; and
- Spare parts and other field equipment.
The Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other armored vehicles and artillery systems are intended to complement the recent commitment of combat vehicles to Ukraine by Germany and France. DoD also said it welcomes Germany’s commitment to join the United States in supporting Ukraine’s “urgent requirement for air defense capabilities” by also supplying one Patriot air defense battery to Kyiv.
“The Biden Administration will continue to encourage Allies and partners to make additional donations of air defense systems, artillery, combat vehicles, and other critical capabilities to support Ukraine in defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity for as long as it takes,” the Department said.
“Toward that end, the Department of State also announced today $682 million in additional Foreign Military Financing to incentivize and backfill donations of military equipment to Ukraine by Allies and partners.”
In total, the United States has committed more than $24.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden Administration. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $27 billion in security assistance to Ukraine and more than $24.2 billion since the beginning of Russia’s invasion on February 24.