Expanded US exercises for Ukrainian forces begin in Germany

BRUSSELS (AP) — New, expanded combat training for U.S. Ukrainian troops began Sunday in Germany with the goal of returning a battalion of about 500 troops to the battlefield to fight the Russians in the next five to eight weeks. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Milley, who plans to visit Grafenwoehr on Monday to get a first-hand look at the program, said the troops being trained left Ukraine a few days ago. Germany has a full range of weapons and equipment to use them.

So far, the Pentagon has refused to say exactly when the training will begin.

The so-called joint military training is aimed at honing the skills of Ukrainian forces so that they are better prepared to launch an offensive or counter any surge of Russian attacks. They will learn how to best move and coordinate their company- and battalion-sized units in battle using combined artillery, armor, and ground forces.

Speaking to two reporters traveling with him to Europe on Sunday, Milli said the comprehensive training — coupled with an array of new weapons, artillery, tanks and other vehicles heading to Ukraine — would be key to helping forces of the country to return the territory that was captured. captured by Russia in a nearly 11-month war.

“This support is really important for Ukraine to be able to defend itself,” Mili said. “And we hope to be able to put it together soon.”

The goal, he said, is for all incoming weapons and equipment to be delivered to Ukraine so that newly trained forces can use them “sometime before the spring rains come.” That would be perfect.’

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