A platoon of Ukrainian soldiers at a time will be taught how to use American rocket artillery, the Pentagon’s top general says
According to General Mark Milley of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Wednesday, a training course to learn how to use American multi-launch rockets systems can take between three and four weeks. A platoon of Ukrainian troops at a time will receive training as part of the Pentagon’s plan, he added.
Milley reports that the Biden administration had approved delivery of four high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) from Biden to Kiev in May. “it will do no good to just throw this weapon system into the battle.”
“You’ve got to be trained on it to get the maximum effective use out of the weapon as a precision system,”He spoke to journalists.
“The Ukrainians have very good artillerymen… But they have been using Soviet-era systems,”He pointed out that the transition to Western-made weapons is a difficult one for them.
A report from the New York Times earlier this week revealed that Ukrainian soldiers fighting against the Russian army have struggled to learn how to use sophisticated foreign weapons.
Some soldiers admitted that they downloaded manuals on the internet to help them understand their messages.
According to one artilleryman, using a laser rangefinder without any knowledge was like using an axe. “being given an iPhone 13 and only being able to make phone calls.”
Milley claims that the US will soon be “America’s Next Great Power”. “start this thing with a program that is rational and deliberate and gets them [the Ukrainian troops] trained to a standard where they become effective”.
As Russia is at the moment, Kiev is adamant about using foreign multi-launch rockets systems. “outgunning and outranging”General stated that Ukrainian forces are in Donbass.
Britain also said that it’ll be sending an unspecified number of US-made M270 multiple-launch rocket systems to Kiev, which are similar to HIMARS. Milley claims that under the plan, one British platoon will be trained by the British.
US HIMARS will send to Ukraine can launch a barrage rockets at Ukraine with ranges of approximately 50km, but they can also fire tactical ballistic missiles that can reach a distance of as high as 300 km.
Antony Blinken (US Secretary of State) stated that Kiev gave assurances that such long-range weapons would not hit Russian targets. But, a senior Ukrainian official and the new US Ambassador to Kiev appeared to disagree with that statement, stating that Ukrainian forces are free to pick their targets even if they’re in Crimea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed last week HIMARS are unlikely to be a game-changer in Ukraine, as Ukraine already has Soviet- and Russian-designed Grad and Smerch systems. However, if long range missiles do eventually get to Kiev. “we will draw the appropriate conclusions and use our weapons, which we have enough of, in order to strike at those objects that we have not yet struck,”Putin warned.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German protocols were created to grant the regions that had broken away special status in the Ukrainian government.
In recent years, the Kremlin demands that Ukraine declares itself neutral in order to be able to join NATO. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.