A total of 65 Ukrainian soldiers have already completed training in the US on the use of American Patriot air defense system and returned to Europe, the Pentagon reported Thursday.
US Department of Defense spokesman Brigadier General Pat Rydersaid at a press conference that this week 65 Ukrainian soldiers completed their training at the Fort Sill base in Oklahoma (USA), and that they are back in Europe.
These soldiers will be integrated into Ukrainian units that will operate the Patriot systems donated by the US, Germany and the Netherlands.
“Once in Ukraine, the Patriot air defense system will add another layer to Ukraine’s air defenses to provide protection and a shield from attackers. brutal and senseless attacks by Russia against innocent civilians and civilian infrastructureRyder explained.
In parallel, in Germany there are more than 4,000 Ukrainian soldiers in two brigades equipped with Bradley and Strykers armored vehicles that will finish their training in handling these battleships at the end of this month to return to Ukraine.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, more than 7,000 members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have received military training from the US and its allies, Ryder said.
At the moment, there are more than 11,000 Ukrainian servicemen receiving training from US international partners in 26 different locations, according to data provided by the spokesperson.
The government of US President Joe Biden announced in December a $1.85 billion military aid package for Ukraine, which for the first time included the Patriot anti-aircraft system that the Ukrainians had been asking for for months, and a month later indicated that it would to train between 90 and 200 Ukrainians in its use on its territory.
For now, the US has announced the shipment of a single battery of this type to Ukraine.
What is Patriot?
He patriot is a system of surface-to-air guided missiles which was first deployed in the 1980s and can engage aircraft, cruise missiles, and short-range ballistic missiles.
each battery patriot consists of a truck-mounted launch system with eight launchers that can hold up to four interceptor missiles each, a ground radar, a control station and a generator. The Army said it currently has 16 Patriot battalions. According to a 2018 report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, those battalions operate 50 batteries, which have more than 1,200 missile interceptors.
US batteries are regularly deployed around the world. In addition, Patriots are also operated or being purchased by the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, Greece, Spain, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Romania, Sweden, Poland, and Bahrain. .
The Patriot system “is one of the most widely used, reliable and proven airborne missile defense systems in existence,” and the theater ballistic missile defense capability could help defend Ukraine against Iranian-supplied ballistic missiles, he said. Tom karakodirector of Missile Defense Project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
(With information from EFE)
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