USA start training at ukrainian forces on how to use and maintain Abrams tanks in the coming weeks, as he continues to accelerate his efforts to bring them to the battlefield against Russia as quickly as possible, US officials said Friday.
The decision comes as defense leaders from across Europe and the world gather at the air base in ramstein in Germany in an ongoing effort to coordinate the delivery of weapons and other equipment to Ukraine. An announcement is expected later on Friday.
According to officials, 31 tanks will arrive at the training area of Grafenwoehr in Germany at the end of May and the troops will start training a couple of weeks later. Officials said the troop’s training will last about 10 weeks. The training tanks will not be the ones given to Ukraine as it fights the invasion of Russia. Instead, 31 M1A1 main battle tanks are being refurbished in the USAand those will go to the front when they are ready.
The goal has been to have troops trained by the time the refurbished tanks are ready so they can immediately go into combat. The tanks are being refitted to meet the needs of Ukraine.
According to the officials, around 250 Ukrainian soldiers will be trained, some will learn how to operate the tanks and others will learn how to repair and maintain them. Additional training on how to fight and maneuver the tanks could also be provided after the first 10 weeks. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details that have not been made public.
The President’s Administration Joe Biden announced in January that it would send Abrams tanks to Ukraine, after insisting for months that they were too complicated and difficult to maintain and repair. The decision was part of a broader political move that opened the door for Germany to announce that it would send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and allow Poland and other allies did the same.
Under intense pressure from Ukraine and other countries to get the tanks into Ukraine faster, the Biden administration announced last month that it would expedite the delivery of Abrams tanks to Ukraine, opting to ship a refurbished older model that can be ready faster. . The goal is to get the 70-ton battle powers to the war zone by fall.
The US also made it clear at the time that it would start training Ukrainian forces on how to use, maintain and repair the tanks and that the instruction would coincide with the restoration of the tanks, so that both would be battle-ready at the same time. later this year.
At the same time, the Pentagon You need to make sure that the Ukrainian forces have an adequate supply chain for all the parts needed to keep the tanks running.
Russian and Ukrainian forces have been largely stalemate, trading small tracts of land over the winter. The fiercest battles have been in the eastern region of Donetskwhere Russia fights to surround the city of Bakhmut against the stubborn Ukrainian defense. But both sides are expected to launch more intense offensives in the spring.
(With information from AP)
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