Ukrainian soldiers are a few days from completion of their Patriot missile training in the US, according to a report by Associated Press.
The training is part of Washington’s military support for the war-torn nation amid Russia’s continued aggression.
Media were recently invited to view 65 Ukrainian soldiers setting up several 12-wheeled military vehicles carrying mobile missile launchers at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.
The trainees also demonstrated how the defensive missile system tracks and shoots down enemy aircraft.
Although the precise date of completion was not disclosed, the soldiers are expected to leave the US “in the next several days” for additional training in Germany.
“For operation security reasons, I’m not going to get into delivery timelines other than to say we’re confident that we’ll be able to get the Patriots there on an expedited timeline, I’ll just leave it at that,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said at a Pentagon briefing.
Making an Impression
US Army officials understood that training Ukrainian soldiers would be challenging due to the language barrier.
However, the trainees proved them wrong, quickly learning the basics of the Patriots thanks to their previous air defense experience.
American soldiers at Fort Sill also admitted surprise at how quickly their Ukrainian counterparts grasped the concept of operation.
“Our assessment is that the Ukrainian soldiers are impressive and absolutely a quick study due to their extensive air defense knowledge and experience in a combat zone,” Fort Sill commanding general Shane Morgan stressed.
After training in the US and Germany, the soldiers will return to Ukraine to prepare to deploy a Patriot missile battery, including six mobile launchers, advanced radar, and an engagement control center.
‘Resourceful and Adaptable’
One soldier who trained the Ukrainians paid specific attention to the resourcefulness and adaptability of the visitors.
He cited an incident where one of the vehicles used in training developed a coolant leak.
Instead of submitting a repair request and waiting several days for the vehicle, Ukrainian soldiers repaired the vehicle in 20 minutes.
“It shows their ability to adapt to a situation,” the trainer explained. “In Ukraine, they won’t have days. They may just have minutes.”