Brett Velicovich, a special ops veteran and Fox News contributor, warned on Monday that the Biden administration is “blocking the release of Javelin training simulators” to Ukraine. It comes as yet more Javelin missile systems and military equipment make their way to Ukraine.
During an interview on Fox & Friends First, Velicovich described the American-made Javelin missile system as “highly effective,” but noted that they are only of use to the Ukrainian military when “in the hands of people that are trained properly.”
Velicovich credited the Lockheed Martin missile systems for Ukraine’s remarkable ability to hold back Russian invaders from cities in central Ukraine, including the capital city of Kyiv. He also warned that the Biden administration could be standing in the way of Ukrainian fighters getting the training they need to use the weapon.
“But I hope when President Biden visits Lockheed Martin very soon, who are the guys that make the Javelin missile, that somebody asks him who exactly within his administration is blocking the release of Javelin training simulators from going into Ukraine,” he said.
Velicovich claimed there was a “political logistics jam” somewhere in the flow of training devices getting into Ukraine, and that the jam is “making it so they are less effective in the field.”
In some cases, he said, the missiles are failing on the front lines because soldiers don’t know how to use them.
“They need these training simulators yesterday in Ukraine and somebody at the highest levels of the administration is blocking their release, from what I’m being told,” he added.
President Joe Biden visits the Lockheed Martina Alabama site today.
Why the U.S. Military Chose Simulated Training
The United States military has long used Javelin missile simulators for training purposes given the price of every missile.
The cost of one Javelin missile is between $75,000 and $80,000, making real-world training cost-prohibitive. The Javelin missile system itself costs $178,000. A virtual reality Javelin simulator was developed to solve this problem.
A joint effort from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, the simulator is known as the “Javelin Basic Skills Trainer.” Over 500 simulators have been manufactured and installed in classrooms all over the world, giving soldiers an opportunity to get to grips with the weapon without putting themselves in danger or throwing away hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time.
Soldiers are typically trained over a two-week period using the simulator and a computer program that creates simulated environments.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.