A new and extensive combat training of the us army to the Ukrainian forces began in Germanywith the goal of having a battalion of about 500 soldiers return to the battlefield to fight the Russians in the next five to eight weeks, he said General Mark Milley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Milley, who plans to visit the training area of Grafenwoehr this Monday to see first-hand the program, he said that the troops being trained left Ukraine a few days ago. In Germany there is a complete set of weapons and equipment for you to use.
Until now, the Pentagon has refused to say exactly when the training would begin.
The so-called combined arms training is aimed at hone the skills of the Ukrainian forces so that they are better prepared to launch an offensive or counter any wave of Russian attacks. They will learn how to better move and coordinate their units on the battlefield using combined artillery, armor, and ground forces.
Speaking to two reporters who traveled with him to Europe on Sunday, Milley said that complex, combined training with a host of new weapons, artillery, tanks and other vehicles who are heading to Ukrainewill be key in helping the country’s forces retake territory that has been captured by Russia in the nearly 11-month war.
“This support is really important so that Ukraine can defend itself,” Milley said. “And we hope we can achieve this here in a short time.”
The goal, he said, is all incoming weapons and equipment are delivered to Ukraine so that the newly trained forces can use them “sometime before the spring rains appear.
The new instruction comes as Ukrainian forces face off against fierce fighting in the eastern province of Donetskwhere the Russian military has claimed control of the small salt mining town of solder. Ukraine claims its troops are still fighting, but if Moscow troops take control of Soledar, it would allow them to inch closer to the larger city of Bakhmut, where fighting has raged for months.
Russia also launched a widespread barrage of missile attackseven in kyiv, the northeastern city of Kharkiv and the southeastern city of dniprowhere the death toll in an apartment building rose to 30.
Milley said he wants to make sure training is on track and if anything else is needed, and also make sure it aligns well with equipment deliveries.
The program will include classroom instruction and fieldwork that it will start with small squads and gradually grow to involve larger units. It would culminate in a more complex combat exercise involving an entire battalion and a headquarters unit.
Until now, the US focus has been on providing Ukrainian forces with the most immediate battlefield needs, particularly how to use the wide range of Western weapons systems coming into the country.
The United States has already trained more than 3,100 Ukrainian soldiers on how to use and maintain certain weapons and other equipment, including howitzers, armored vehicles, and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS. Other nations are also conducting training on the weapons they provide.
Announcing the new program last month, Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said the idea “is to be able to give them this advanced level of collective training that enables them to conduct effective combined arms operations and maneuver on the battlefield.
Milley said the United States was doing this type of training before the Russian invasion last February. But once the war started, the US National Guard and special operations forces that were training inside Ukraine left the country. This new effort, which is being conducted by the US Army’s 7th Army Europe and Africa Training Command, will be a continuation of what they had been doing before the invasion. Other European allies are also providing training.
(With information from AP)
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