US has trained more than 7,000 Ukrainian troops since war with Russia began

In this image provided by the U.S. Army, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley meets with U.S. Army leaders responsible for the collective training of Ukrainians at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Grafenwoehr, Germany, on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. At left is Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Hilbert, who is the commanding general for the 7th Army Training Command. Milley visited the training site in Germany for Ukrainian forces and met with troops and commanders.(Staff Sgt. Jordan Sivayavirojna/U.S. Army via AP)

U.S. forces have trained more than 7,000 Ukrainian troops since Russia first attacked the country last year, the Pentagon’s top spokesperson said Thursday. 

Among those soldiers were 65 Ukrainians who completed training on the Patriot air defense system at Fort Sill, Okla., and returned to Europe this week, press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told reporters.   

Ryder also said that more than 4,000 Ukrainian troops in two brigades will have completed combined arms training in Germany, with one group equipped with Bradley fighting vehicles and one with Stryker vehicles.  

“Additional combined arms training is currently underway at Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels training areas in Germany, with two motorized infantry battalions consisting of 1,200 Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel,” he added.  

Another 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers have finished operator and maintenance training on more than 20 donated systems since April of 2022, a program that is ongoing, Ryder said.  

Altogether, the U.S. and its coalition partners are currently training more than 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers across 26 different countries.  

“The U.S. will continue to provide training and work closely with our allies and partners to ensure the Ukrainian people have the security assistance they need to defend their country and repel Russian aggression,” Ryder said. 

Ukrainian troops first arrived at Fort Sill in January to begin training on the Patriot missile system in an accelerated version of a course that typically takes up to a year to learn. 

The expertise was expected to take several months — an already sped up timeline — though the Ukrainian troops exceeded expectations and finished the course faster than planned.  

The Ukrainian forces will now be able to operate the Patriot systems President Biden approved to ship to the country in December, as well as a Patriot battery Germany committed to sending from its own inventory. 

Tags Russia-Ukraine war

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