This past Tuesday, the Pentagon issued a statement explaining that defense officials would be sending out and deploying U.S. Patriot missile defense systems and Abram tanks for use by Ukrainian forces much sooner than expected as the troops put a capstone on a quite “aggressive” training regime carried out on American soil.
Over the past few months, a large group of 65 Ukrainian soldiers was expedited through the training on how to set up, operate, maintain, and fully sustain the defensive emplacement at Fort Sill located in Oklahoma. A training course which was slated to last quite a bit longer when it started. Officials out of Fort Sills explained to CNN that these Ukrainian soldiers included a range of both women and men stretching from as young as 19 to as old as 67 years old.
As the commanding general of the Army’s Fires Center of Excellence, Brig. Gen. Shane Morgan stated, as claimed by CNN, that the Ukrainian soldiers were “hand-picked by their country” and quickly learned the highly complex equipment.
“Due to their extensive air defense knowledge and experience in a combat zone, it was easier — though it’s never easy — for them to grasp the Patriot System Operations and Maintenance concepts,” stated Morgan. “Their higher education and their certification certainly aided their training — they are the best of the best in what they do in air defense for Ukraine.”
As explained in a report from Reuters, the Patriot — which itself is an acronym for Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target — is the advanced air defense system for the U.S. which is built by Raytheon Technologies Corp sporting theater-wide surface-to-air missile defense. While the manufacturers created this system to deal with both ballistic missiles and aircraft, Reuters stated that it would also be utilized to take down the “kamikaze” drones being used by the Russian forces to take down critical infrastructure in Ukraine.
A report from Raytheon explained that this Patriot system has been able to intercept and take down 150 ballistic missiles in combat since 2015.
When it comes to the other sections of the plan, Pentagon officials have altered the previously established plans to send over 31 M1A2 abrams models but elected to instead quickly refurbish already built M1A1 Abrams tanks as a method to speed up the process of getting them to the front by this coming fall.
“The Pentagon is working as fast as they can,” explained National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby in a recent statement on MSNBC when questioned about the tanks. “We’re working on that,” he concluded. “there’s some changes that you can make to the process to sort of speed that up.”