U.S. Begins Training Ukrainian Troops for Large-Scale Combat – After U.S. government officials confirmed that Ukrainian soldiers would be trained in the United States to use the Patriot missile defense systems headed to Ukraine, a more wide-ranging series of training exercises for those troops began on Sunday.
(Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel Here. 19FortyFive publishes original videos every day.)
Speaking to The Washington Post on Sunday, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, said that the first day of training had started with exercises designed to make Ukrainian troops more effective against their Russian counterparts.
Specifically, Milley said that the training was focusing on preparing soldiers for large-scale combat – possibly in anticipation of a renewed Russian offensive in the spring.
“We want the Ukrainians to have a capability to successfully defend their country,” Milley said, speaking aboard a U.S. military aircraft traveling over Europe. “Ukraine is doing nothing more than defending itself, and they are trying to liberate Russian-occupied Ukraine.”
Milley confirmed that the training will last up to six weeks, and as many as 500 soldiers will go through the training program. The training exercises are expected to focus not just on how to use advanced missile systems sent by European allies and the United States, but also on combined-arms warfare – a term that describes combat with the use of artillery, combat vehicles, tanks, and other weapons that can maximize damage caused.
Here Comes Ukraine
Video footage shared online and on television shows Ukrainian troops landing on U.S. soil on Sunday. In one video, around 100 troops can be seen arriving on an airplane and later being transported to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, via coach.
Sharing the video online, Fox News reporter Austin Westfall said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Patriot missile system “will make a significant difference in bolstering Kyiv’s defenses against Russia.”
Oklahoma Senator Rejects Plans
Ahead of the planned training, conservative Republican state Senator Nathan Dahm filed a resolution designed to prevent the Ukrainian troops from training on Oklahoma soil.
In the resolution, Dahm claims that there is a risk of a missile accidentally firing onto Oklahoma soil.
“These America Last policies of the current regime should not be tolerated in Oklahoma,” Dahm said on January 11. “We saw how recently the Ukrainian military fired a rocket into Poland killing two innocent civilians. We certainly don’t need them practicing here in Oklahoma where our citizens could be under the constant threat of a similar failure.”
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He 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.