US troops in Europe will begin training Ukrainian forces on howitzers and radars. The systems will be transferred to Ukraine as a part of the $800 million arms package President Joe Biden authorized on Wednesday.
The US scaled back its exercises with Ukrainian forces in February before the Russian invasion. However, several NATO countries have continued to train Keiv’s soldiers. A small number of Ukrainian soldiers drilled on the switchblade drones in the US. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced those forces recently returned to the battlefield.
The Pentagon is still working out the details of where the training will occur. The US will have ample choices as it has 100,000 troops deployed across Europe.
The training for the Ukrainian troops is necessary as the 155 MM howitzers and radars – AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder and AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel – are more advanced than other weapons the US has provided to Ukraine. But Pentagon Press Spokesperson John Kirby said the training can be completed quickly. “We believe that we can put together appropriate training for some of these systems very, very quickly. These are not highly complex systems,” Kirby said
Along with the artillery and radar, the $800 million weapons transfer will include armored vehicles, mines, Switchblade drones, and Mi-17 helicopters.
Russia views the increased military support for Ukraine as a provocation. “We are warning that US-NATO weapons transport across Ukrainian territory will be considered by us as legal military targets. We are making the Americans and other Westerners understand that attempts to slow down our special operation, to inflict maximum damage on Russian contingents and formations of the DPR and LPR (Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics) will be harshly suppressed,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.