Thursday, March 23, 2023

Ukrainian Forces in US Complete Tactical Training on Switchblade Drones

Washington, DC – Secretary Austin spoke via videoconference this morning to a small number of Ukrainian forces who are returning to Ukraine today from the United States, said Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

These Ukrainian troops were participating in a pre-scheduled professional military education program at the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School (NAVSCIATTS) in Biloxi, Miss. when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24. NAVSCIATTS is a Security Cooperation school operating under United States Special Operations Command in support of Foreign Security Assistance and Geographic Combatant Commanders’ Theater Security Cooperation priorities.

“The Secretary thanked them for their service and for their courage, noting the skill with which the Ukrainian Armed Forces are fighting Russia’s unprovoked invasion. And he pledged continued US support for providing and coordinating additional security assistance,” said Kirby.

Secretary Austin thanked the troops for their service and courage as they prepared to return home to the Ukraine to help defend their country. Photo taken by U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Trey Hutcheson

The Ukrainians were in the United States as part of the Defense Department’s long history of hosting Ukrainian service members for training and education. The Ukrainian forces received training on patrol craft operations, communications, and maintenance while at NASVSCIATTS.

Since the conclusion of the NAVSCIATTS course in early March, the US military provided the group additional advanced tactical training and training on the systems the United States has provided to Ukraine, including on the Switchblade UAV. “We took the opportunity to … give them a couple of days’ worth of training on the Switchblade so that they can go back, and they will be going back soon, back home, to train others in the Ukrainian military,” Kirby said.

Today was the group’s last day in the United States. They spoke to Secretary Austin from the U.S. Navy’s base at Little Creek, VA., where they were completing additional advanced tactical training.

On April 5, the Biden Administration authorized an additional Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to an additional $100 million to meet an urgent Ukrainian need for additional Javelin anti-armor systems, which the United States has been providing to Ukraine and they have been using so effectively to defend their country. The US has already shipped 100 Switchblade unmanned systems to the Ukrainians. 

This is the sixth drawdown of equipment from Department of Defense inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.

Combined with $300 million in military assistance announced by the Department April 1, this brings the total US security assistance commitment to Ukraine to more than $2.4 billion since the beginning of the Biden Administration and more than $1.7 billion since the beginning of Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked invasion on February 24.

Speaking on background, a senior defense official told reporters that since the failure of the Kyiv campaign, Russian units are moving to the east and beginning to feed them into the fight for the Donbas. “This will be a knife fight,” the official said. “This could be very bloody and very ugly.”  The official noted that one of the reasons why the president signed out another $100 million in Javelins just the other night was because we know how important the Javelins are going to be in this knife fight that’s about to occur in the Donbas.

“The United States, along with our Allies and partners, will continue to work closely with our Ukrainian partners to evaluate their specific requirements to ensure our assistance meets Ukraine’s highest priority needs as they courageously defend their country,” said Kirby.

Author profile
Globalstratview News Service
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest news

Downing of US drone in Russian Jet Encounter Prompts Counterclaims of Violations in the Sky – an International Law Expert Explores the Arguments

A U.S. surveillance drone flies over the USS Coronado in the Pacific Ocean during an April 2021 drill. U.S. Navy/Chief...

Biden Approves $8B Oil Extraction Plan in Ecologically Sensitive Alaska

Bailing on an election promise to never again allow drilling on federal lands, United States President Joe Biden has...

Washington Update: Ethiopian People are Experiencing Continued Repression From Abiy Ahmed’s Government

Continued repression The US government must exert its influence to support fundamental human rights, the rule of law, and democracy...

USCIRF: We do not endorse or release reports by outside organizations

Washington, DC - In a tweet on February 28, The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) wrote, @USCIRF Commissioner Stephen...
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

How Can Anyone Function Knowing That a Loved One is Nowhere to be Found?

It has been 626 days since June 15. 2021. That is the day my auntie Ella Mae Begay was...

It is Russia and China That Find Themselves Isolated at G20 Says US

Washington, DC - At the recent G20 Finance Ministers meeting, the group was unable to issue a joint communique...

Must read

Biden Approves $8B Oil Extraction Plan in Ecologically Sensitive Alaska

Bailing on an election promise to never again allow...

Neither Prayer Nor Breakfast: A Tale of Two Visits

UPDATE: Senator Mark Pryor, of the National Prayer Breakfast...