The new military unit would be modeled on ‘training and assistance efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan’ over the past 20 years
The Pentagon is working to create a new military command dedicated to arming and training Ukrainian soldiers, U.S. officials told multiple media outlets, suggesting the effort will be effective. “revision” the current process of arms transfer to Kyiv.
The command would be based in Wiesbaden, Germany – where the US military retains its European headquarters – and would be made up of 300 personnel led by General Christopher Cavoli, who heads the army’s European command, according to unnamed officials. quoted by the New York Times. and CNN Thursday.
“The changes, which seek to give formal structure to what has been improvised since the start of the war, are broadly modeled on US training and assistance efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two decades.” , reported the Times.
While the new unit would seek to make major changes to the current training and equipping program for Kyiv, Wiesbaden will remain a key part of the program, as most Ukrainian troops currently being trained in US weapons do so in or near the town. .
Since Russia sent troops to the neighboring country in late February, US military aid to Ukraine has largely been managed from Germany and Poland by Lt. Gen. Christopher Donahue, who also oversaw the chaotic evacuation of US forces from Afghanistan last year. However, Donahue and his team are due to return home next month, creating the need for a specialized command geared towards training and arming Ukrainian troops.
The proposal for the new unit was initially floated earlier in the conflict by General Tod Wolters, with Cavoli “refining” the idea after taking his place at EUCOM in July, according to the Times.
In late August, the Wall Street Journal also reported that Washington was seeking to appoint a general to lead the arms and training program in Ukraine, suggesting the initiative could be given an official mission name, as well as “Dedicated long-term funding” of the US government. The outlet added that the changes would mark a “going from a largely one-time effort to providing training and assistance to Ukrainians for years.”
The United States has authorized nearly $17 billion in arms transfers to the Ukrainian military so far this year, with the vast majority of that aid having been approved since hostilities escalated in February. Although large quantities of equipment and ammunition are sourced directly from existing stockpiles, the Pentagon is also working with arms contractors to manufacture weapons specifically for Kyiv, including 18 all-new high-mobility artillery rocket systems. (HIMARS) announced earlier this week – one of the longest range platforms provided by Washington to date.
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