Patriot – While the battle between Russia and Ukraine continues, friends are doing everything they can to secure Ukraine’s capacity to fight for itself.
Several individuals thought that Poland’s recent contribution of combat planes was needless.
In contrast, the United States has just lately chosen to send its own reinforcements.
On Tuesday, US defense officials revealed that the Patriot missile defense systems and Abram tanks being built will be deployed earlier than expected.
They also stated that 65 Ukrainian soldiers would finish their training on the systems in the coming days at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
After that, the troops would be transported to Europe for additional training on two Patriot systems, one developed by the US and the other by Germany and the Netherlands.
They will be sent to Ukraine soon, according to authorities.
The news of the deployment acceleration comes in response to a previous report.
The US was expected to speed up the delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine by delivering older M1-A1 units rather than the modernized ones.
The decision to speed up tank and Patriot deliveries came after Ukraine announced plans for a spring offensive against Russian soldiers.
The offensive strategy was based on the formidable technical systems promised by the West, such as tanks and other armored vehicles.
The Ukrainian troops
On January 15, 65 Ukrainians began training at Fort Sill.
According to authorities, because the Ukrainians were already familiar with air defense systems, US trainers were able to shorten the course’s duration.
Fort Sill commander Brig. Gen. Shan Morgan stated:
“Our assessment is that the Ukrainian soldiers are impressive, and absolutely a quick study.”
“Due to their extensive air defense knowledge and experience in a combat zone, it was easier – though never easy – for them to grasp the Patriot System Operations and Maintenance concepts.”
Patriot training for American soldiers sometimes lasts more than a year.
Yet, the Ukrainians’ rapid training would take many months, according to Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder.
Although Ryder did not reveal the updated time frame, he did state that the US is optimistic that the Patriots will be released on time.
Ukrainian military trainees range in age from 19 to 67.
They came in mid-January and will finish training in the next several days.
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The Patriot system
The timetable was stringent, according to a Fort Sill spokesman, with soldiers exercising beginning at 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
After repeatedly requesting air defense capability, the United States announced that it will supply Ukraine with a Patriot battery by the end of 2022.
Analysts warned, however, that the Patriot system would not be a game changer overnight because of training needs, logistical constraints, and scope restrictions.
Former US Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling commented on the concept in December.
“These systems don’t pick up and move around the battlefield,” said Hertling.
“You put them in place somewhere that defends your most strategic target, like a city, like Kyiv.”
“If anyone thinks this is going to be a system that is spread across a 500-mile border between Ukraine and Russia, they just don’t know how the system operates.”
Overseeing the troops
According to Brig. Gen. Shane Morgan, the Ukrainians’ daily training in Oklahoma was overseen by the Army’s 3rd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Regiment.
He went on to say that because they were picked by their country, the Ukrainian military dispatched are the finest of the best.
“I’m certain their actions these past months will save lives and alleviate suffering,” said Col. Marty O’Donnell, spokesman for US Army Europe and Africa.
“What they did matters – it matters to Ukraine and to the world.”
John Kirby, the National Security Council’s strategic communications coordinator, stated on Tuesday morning that the US was attempting to expedite the delivery of the tanks.
“We’re working on that,” said Kirby. “There’s some changes that you can make to the process, to sort of speed that up.”
“The Pentagon is working as fast as they can, and they’ll have more to say on adjustments they’re making.”
At the Tuesday briefing, Ryder claimed that it will provide M1-A1 tanks to Ukraine, noting that the decision to help supply the capability was reached rapidly.
The US may be able to supply the tanks by the autumn by delivering earlier models.
Moreover, Ryder stated that Ukraine would receive armor and armament capabilities equal to the M1-A2, such as a .50-caliber heavy machine gun and a 120 mm cannon.
The US has already stated that it will supply the latest M1-A2 Abrams tank.
Yet, they would be forced to either manufacture new tanks or modify existing ones before educating Ukrainian crews on cutting-edge technology.
The M1-A2 now has a more modern computerized targeting system, which requires more training for Ukrainians to use and maintain.
The US will continue to provide Ukraine with 31 M1-A1 Abrams tanks, which are the same size as an entire Ukrainian tank.