US may establish new command in Germany to arm Ukraine: report

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A new mission is being established at U.S. European Command’s headquarters in Germany to oversee how the U.S. trains and equips Ukrainian troops, according to a report by the New York Times.

The plan for a formal structure in Wiesbaden, Germany, for the U.S. efforts to aid Ukraine following the Russian invasion in February was presented by EUCOM commander Gen. Christopher Cavoli to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in late September, according to the Times.

Citing an unnamed source within the U.S. military and Biden administration, the Times reported that the new command would include approximately 300 personnel, and would likely report to Cavoli. While the command’s headquarters would be situated in Wiesbaden, training would likely take place at other U.S. bases in Germany, such as Grafenwoehr or Hohenfels, where the Army has large ranges.

A final decision on the command is expected within the next few weeks.

“In close coordination with our Allies and partners, we continue to take steps to align our support to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in a more unified manner in order to aid the Ukrainians with their most urgent needs on the battlefield against the Russian invading force,” EUCOM spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Day told Military Times in a statement. “At this time, any additional changes or moves to improve our ability to support the Ukrainians are pre-decisional, but as previously stated, we continue to take steps to better align our support.”

Signs of a potential re-structuring have been seen in recent weeks, as a multi-national logistics cell — the International Donor Coordination Center — moved from Stuttgart to Wiesbaden earlier this summer.

“The co-location with the U.S. Army Europe and Africa headquarters, as well as XVIII Airborne Corps increases the ability of the organization to rapidly support Ukraine operations,” EUCOM said in a statement regarding the Aug. 6 move.

The U.S. military began its mission to train Ukrainian troops well before Russia launched its full-scale war earlier this year. The initial efforts began in 2015, following the separation of Crimea from Ukraine.

U.S. troops, in addition to forces from Canada, Lithuania, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, have been training Ukrainian forces through the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine. Initially stationed at the Combat Training Center-Yavoriv near Lviv, in western Ukraine, the troops were removed just before the invasion began.

“United States military units support the training to strengthen relationships and affirm the United States’ commitment to European partners,” a press release from the Army stated. “Army National Guard brigade combat teams provide the main support to the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine mission in nine-month rotations as part of the Army’s rotational model.”

The U.S. military also still has thousands of troops positioned across Europe in response to the invasion, including in Poland, Romania, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania. To date, the U.S. has committed more than $16 billion to Ukraine.

Source : Defense News