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After Congress finally does pass new funding, this is how the US can rush weapons to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon could send weapons to Ukraine within days of congressional approval. a long-delayed aid bill. This is because it has a network of storage sites in the United States and Europe that already contain the munitions and air defense components that kyiv desperately needs.

Acting quickly is critical, CIA Director Bill Burns said last week, warning that without additional U.S. help, Ukraine could lose. the war in Russia by the end of this year.

“We would very much like to be able to accelerate security assistance in the volumes that we think they need to be successful,” Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said.

The House approved $61 billion in funding for the war-torn country on Saturday after Speaker Mike JohnsonR-La., pushed a larger foreign aid bill to the vote despite threats within his party to do so. could cost him his job. The Senate still needs to be exonerated.

After the House vote, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he was grateful “for this decision that keeps history on the right track.” He said on

President Joe Biden said he would sign it “immediately.”

If that happens, “we have a very strong logistics network that allows us to move equipment very quickly,” Ryder told reporters last week. “We can move in a few days.”

The Pentagon has had supplies ready to go for months, but hasn’t moved them because it’s out of money. He has already spent all the funding Congress previously provided to support Ukraine, sending more than $44 billion in weapons, maintenance, training and spare parts since then. The Russian invasion of February 2022.

In December, the Pentagon was $10 billion in the holebecause replacing systems sent to the battlefield in Ukraine will now cost more.

As a result, the Pentagon’s frequent aid programs to Ukraine dried up because there was no guarantee that Congress would approve the additional funding needed to replenish the weapons the United States is sending to Ukraine. . The legislation would include more than $20 billion to restock Pentagon shelves and ensure the military services have what they need to fight and protect America.

The delay in arms deliveries forced Ukrainian troops to spend months rationing their dwindling ammunition supplies.

A look at how the US can quickly move weapons to Ukraine:


When an aid package for Ukraine is announced, the weapons are provided either through a presidential withdrawal authorization, which allows the military to immediately withdraw from its stockpiles, or through a security assistance, which funds longer-term contracts with the defense industry to obtain the systems.

The Presidential Withdrawal Authority, or PDA, as it is called, allowed the military to send billions of dollars worth of munitions, air defense missile launcherstanks, vehicles and other equipment to Ukraine.

“In the past, we’ve seen weapons transferred through the Presidential Withdrawal Authority arrive within days,” said Brad Bowman, director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ center on military and political power.

These stockpiles are being removed from bases or storage facilities in the United States or from European sites where the United States has already increased its weapons in order to reduce the time it will take to deliver them once funding is approved.


As the war in Ukraine dragged on, the United States began sending larger, deadlier, and more expensive systems to the war front. They included complete air defense systems, armored vehicles, sophisticated missiles — and even Abrams tanks.

These systems cost more to replace, so the military – especially the army – fell into even more debt. Additionally, the military has in some cases opted to replace older systems sent to Ukraine with more expensive, higher-tech domestic systems.

As a result, Army leaders recently told Congress that without passage of the foreign aid bill, they would begin to run out of money and be forced to transfer funds from other accounts.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and Gen. Randy George, the Army’s chief of staff, said the branch would not have enough money to repatriate troops serving in Europe or to train units in the United States.


The military has massive weapons storage facilities in the United States for millions of cartridges of all sizes that would be ready for use in the event of war.

For example, the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma spans 45,000 acres (70 square miles) connected by rail and has a mission to transport up to 435 shipping containers – each capable of carrying 15 tons (30,000 pounds) of ammunition – if ordered by the president.

The facility is also a major storage site for one of the most widely used munitions on the Ukrainian battlefield, 155mm howitzers.

Ukraine’s request for this particular shell put pressure on U.S. stockpiles and pushed the military to see where else it could get them. As a result, tens of thousands of 155mm rounds were shipped back to McAlester from South Korea for adaptation to Ukraine.


According to a US military official, the United States could send some munitions “almost immediately” to Ukraine because warehouses exist in Europe.

Among the weapons that could be used very quickly are 155mm shells and other artillery, as well as some air defense munitions. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss preparations that have not yet been made public.

A host of sites in Germany, Poland and other European allies also help Ukraine maintain and train systems sent to the front. For example, Germany has created a maintenance center for the kyiv site. Leopard 2 tank fleet in Poland, near the Ukrainian border.

Nearby maintenance centers speed up turnaround times to complete necessary repairs on Western systems.


Follow AP coverage of Russia’s war in Ukraine at

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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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