US to train Ukrainian troops on Patriot air defence system
The US DoD announced on 10 January that Ukrainian soldiers will head to the US to train on the Patriot system so they will be ready to use it when delivered.
The announcement comes weeks after the US pledged to supply a Patriot battery under the latest $1.85 billion tranche of military assistance for Ukraine.
Ukrainian soldiers will be accommodated at Fort Sill where the US Army trains its own personnel on the Patriot system.
‘Training for Ukrainian forces on the Patriot air defence system will begin as soon as next week at Fort Sill, Oklahoma,’ Pentagon press secretary and USAF Brig Gen Pat Ryder said on 10 January.
‘The training will prepare approximately 90 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers to operate, maintain and sustain the defensive system over a training course expected to last several months.’
Ryder said training for those soldiers will include classroom work, hands-on training with the Patriot and a simulation lab. It will also focus on what the Ukrainians will need once they are back home.
Ryder added that Patriot will help Ukraine stand up against increased Russian aerial bombardment.
‘The Patriot will contribute to the air defence capabilities that Ukraine already has,’ he said. ‘It's something that will enable them to take down... ballistic missiles, adversary aircraft; really up to them on how they employ it.’
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