As you read these words, several thousands of miles away in a vast training area in Germany, Ukrainian tankers are getting ready to operate the M1 Abrams main battle tank.
M1 Abrams Training Has Begun
Last week, the Ukrainian military started to train on the M1A1 Abrams tank that the United States will be sending to Kyiv in the coming months.
The U.S. military has shipped 30 M1 Abrams tanks to Germany so that the Ukrainian crews that have been selected to operate the tank can go through the intensive training course. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is working to have ready the 31 M1A1 SA Abrams tanks that have been committed to Ukraine. According to an expedited schedule, the U.S. should be sending the tanks to Ukraine in the next few months.
The Ukrainian tankers will only have a few weeks to become proficient at the M1A1 Abrams before they have to operate it under fire on the battlefield. The training program includes marksmanship, maneuvers, and combined arms operations.
“It represents the continuation of a worldwide effort led by the U.S. and supported by more than 50 nations to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war,” Col. Martin O’Donnell, spokesman for U.S. Army Europe and Africa, said in a statement.
Training is taking place at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany, which has been a major training hub for the U.S. Army for decades. The area is ideal for tank training as it covers more than 100 miles of tank trails.
M1 Abrams to Ukraine
The Pentagon had announced that training of Ukrainian crews on the M1A1 SA Abrams would be taking place in May. In January, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would be sending 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine. The decision was a watershed moment in the Ukraine security aid saga and prompted Germany to finally greenlight the transfer of Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.
As of May, several Western countries have committed more than 200 main battle tanks to Ukraine, including M1A1 Abrams, Leopard 2s, Leopard 1s, and Challenger 2s. In addition, the West has committed several hundred armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles to support the tanks in combat operations. These weapon systems are key to ensuring that the tanks are as effective as possible.
“[You] have to make sure that your tanks are combined arms with mechanized infantry artillery, all of that is synchronized with dismounted forces,” U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said in April.
“I do think the M1 tank, when it’s delivered, and it reaches its operational capability, will be very effective on the battlefield,” Milley added.
The Ukrainian military desperately needs as much firepower as possible to achieve concrete results on the ground in its upcoming large-scale counteroffensive. Western main battle tanks could make the difference and allow the Ukrainian forces to achieve an operational breakthrough that could end the war sooner.
The Ukrainian M1A1 Abrams will soon be seeing action. They could make the difference.
FROM 19FortyFive: How To Sink A $3 Billion Dollar Submarine: Leave A Hatch Open
FROM 19FortyFive – Ukraine War Ending: Putin Sick with Cancer and Passes Away?
FROM 19FortyFive – Ukraine War Ending: Putin Gets Wiped Out in Coup?