U.S. begins expanded training of Ukrainian forces for large-scale combat

U.S. begins expanded training of Ukrainian forces for large-scale combat

The Washington Post reports:

The U.S. military has launched an expanded, more sophisticated training program of Ukrainian forces that is focused on large-scale combat and meant to bolster Ukraine’s ability to take back territory from Russian forces, the Pentagon’s top general said Sunday.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on a flight from Washington to Europe that the training began Sunday at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany and will continue for five or six weeks. About 500 soldiers will go through the initial version of training, focused on what the military calls combined-arms warfare, in which tanks, artillery, combat vehicles and other weapons are layered to maximize the violence they inflict.

“We want the Ukrainians to have a capability to successfully defend their country,” Milley said. “Ukraine is doing nothing more than defending itself, and they are trying to liberate Russian-occupied Ukraine.”

The training, first disclosed in planning late last year, begins as the United States and its allies lock in an ever-growing list of weapons that could be used in an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive within months. The Biden administration approved the transfer of $3 billion in weapons on Jan. 6, marking the single largest transfer of arms to Ukraine since Russia invaded nearly a year ago, as the administration seeks cooperation from other allies to provide similar arms. Among the weapons in the U.S. package are 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and motorized howitzer artillery.

Other nations, including Britain, Poland and France, have pledged complementary weapons, including battle tanks, and Ukraine has pressured Germany to do the same. Milley said the challenge will be determining how quickly the Ukrainian military will be ready and trained to use all of the new military equipment. [Continue reading…]

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