☷US troops train Ukrainians in Germany
U.S. Army ( By Press Release office)
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WASHINGTON — U . S . service members in Germany have begun training Ukrainian soldiers on key systems being used to defend Ukraine against the Russian invasion , Pentagon Press Secretary John F . Kirby said today . "These efforts build on the initial artillery training that Ukraine ' s forces already have received elsewhere and also includes training on radar systems and armored vehicles that have been recently announced as part of security assistance packages , " Kirby said . U . S . Army Europe and Africa is organizing the training in coordination with Germany . Florida National Guardsmen — who were part of the Joint Multinational Training Group in Western Ukraine and were ordered out of the country as the threat of the Russian invasion intensified — have reunited with Ukrainians in Germany and are again working to give the Ukrainians the knowledge they need to defend their country . "The recent reunion of these Florida National Guard members with their Ukrainian colleagues , we are told , was an emotional meeting , given the strong bonds that were formed as they were living and working together before temporarily parting ways in February , " Kirby said . Pentagon Press Secretary John F . Kirby holds a press briefing , the Pentagon , Washington , D . C . , April 29 , 2022 . The United States is not the only country training Ukrainian service members . Yesterday , Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said Canadian service members were training Ukrainians on the M - 777 howitzer in Europe . This training effort is in direct support of recent U . S . security assistance packages "designed to help Ukraine win their battles today and build strength for tomorrow , " Kirby said . These systems are necessary to counter Russia ' s new push into the Donbas region of Ukraine . This training package is just the latest in an effort that goes back to the break - up of the Soviet Union , but that intensified after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and illegally annexed Crimea . "We ' re here today talking about the Florida National Guard , " he said . "But as you all know , they were preceded by others of their colleagues going back over the last eight years . " That training effort has been key to Ukraine ' s stout defense of its capital city of Kyiv and the fight they are putting up in Donbas . The training helped transform Ukraine from a Soviet - style military to a more agile and deadly force . "They have better command and control , " Kirby said . "They have better battlefield initiative . They have a competent noncommissioned officer corps that is empowered on the field of battle to make tactical decisions . That didn ' t happen by accident . " The bulk of the training on the new systems Ukraine is getting will be performed by the Florida Guardsmen . They can , of course , call on Army units in Germany to assist if they need it , the press secretary said . Pentagon Press Secretary John F . Kirby holds a press briefing , the Pentagon , Washington , D . C . , April 29 , 2022 . U . S . officials want to make the training useful and constructive , but not onerous — meaning the Ukrainians are fighting a war in their country and do not have the time for long training classes . As such , the Ukraine military chose artillery personnel to learn to operate the M - 777 howitzer . They have the background needed to operate artillery and just need to learn the peculiarities of the American system . The same is true of radar operators . While they will receive American systems , these soldiers have already learned about radar and just need to learn what buttons to push , or what pulses mean on American sets . These Ukrainians soldiers will then go back to Ukraine and teach their fellow soldiers how to use the equipment effectively . "As you might imagine , these soldiers are eager to learn these new skills , but they ' re also eager to apply those new skills in the conflict , " Kirby said . The press secretary was asked about Russian nuclear saber - rattling . He said the United States continually watches the Russia ' s nuclear preparations , and officials believe U . S . deterrence is positioned correctly . He said the United States takes any threats seriously and is prepared . "I ' m not going to go into the psychology of [Russian President] Vladimir Putin , " Kirby said . "It ' s hard to look at what he ' s doing in Ukraine , what his forces are doing in Ukraine and think that any ethical , moral individual could justify that . It ' s difficult to look at some of the images and imagine that any well - thinking , serious , mature leader would do that . So , I can ' t talk to his psychology . But I think we can all speak to his depravity . "
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