By DoD News
By David Vergun
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III visited Wednesday Lucius D. Clay Kaserne, a U.S. Army installation in Wiesbaden, Germany.
He met with U.S. and multinational troops there, including Ukrainian soldiers, thanking them for their support for Ukraine.
Kaserne is home to U.S. Army Europe and Africa Command and other organizations, including the Security Assistance Group-Ukraine and the International Donor Coordination Center.
The International Donor Coordination Center coordinates lethal and non-lethal security force assistance from over 50 donor nations, according to a senior United Kingdom defense official.
The center, led by the U.K., has around 200 personnel from 21 nations, including Ukraine, which evaluates and coordinates that assistance the official said.
Since the Russian invasion began last year, the center has received around 150,000 tons of material and equipment for Ukraine, including such things as vehicles, weapons, munitions, rations and clothing, the official said.
Currently, Ukraine has received some 600 varieties of vehicles and weapons platforms, since each donor nation has a unique inventory, the official said.
For a nation to have such variety is unprecedented. That Ukrainian forces have been able to skillfully operate and maintain those systems is a testament to their ingenuity and resourcefulness, the official said.
For now, there’s an emphasis on seeking donations for spare parts and other items needed for maintenance and sustainment of those systems, the official said, adding that the situation on the ground in Ukraine will dictate future contributions.
Training of Ukrainian forces is currently underway in about 40 training sites outside of Ukraine, said a senior Canadian defense official. Thus far, about 67,000 Ukrainians have received training from 33 nations on tactics, weapon systems and leadership development at those sites.
Training Ukrainian forces on Stryker and Bradley Fighting Vehicles recently concluded and Ukrainians are now receiving training on the Abrams M1A1 tank, which will likely conclude by the end of summer the official said.
The Ukrainians first receive platform training, which includes operating and maintaining the systems they’ll be using. Training then progresses to maneuver warfare, including force-on-force, which is as close to real combat as one can get, the official said.
Types of training required is dictated by what the Ukrainians say they need and feedback from the situation on the ground, the official said, making it hard to predict what new training will be needed more than a few months out.
The official said the American and other multinational trainers are passionate about their work and the skills the Ukrainians master over a very short timeframe is amazing.
Separately, Austin, spoke by phone yesterday with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov to discuss priorities for tomorrow’s Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in Brussels, which will focus on bolstering Ukraine’s air defense and other near-term capability priorities, as well as training and sustainment to enhance Ukraine’s enduring strength over the long term.