Ukrainian Air Force confirmed air forces traveling for training abroad
This follows Italy and France's agreement to provide Aster-30 anti-aircraft missiles and advanced Samp/T air defense systems, commonly known as Mamba.
The commander of the Ukrainian air force, Mykola Oleschuk, confirmed on Sunday that units pertaining to the Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile forces traveled overseas to learn to operate European air defense systems.
Last month, Italy and France agreed to provide Aster-30 anti-aircraft missiles and advanced Samp/T air defense systems, commonly known as Mamba.
Quoted by Ukrainian news agency Unian, Oleschuk stated, "I immediately decided to send the required number of anti-aircraft missile forces units for training. They are already on the way," as he noted that they would return to Ukraine with the Samp/T systems.
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Earlier this week, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani provided a possibility of the new air defense systems being deployed on Ukrainian territory in approximately seven to eight weeks.
Training every which way
Last Wednesday, the EU stated it is increasing by two-fold the number of Ukrainian troops it aims to train to 30,000, as Brussels seeks more ways to help Ukraine. The 27-nation bloc established in November a training program for the Ukrainian military, with the initial goal of training 15,000 people.
"This will be reached probably before the end of the second quarter of this year and there will be a new additional target of a further 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers trained by various European countries," an EU official said. "So that will bring the number of Ukrainian soldiers trained in this scheme to 30,000."
The UK Defense Ministry announced on January 29 that Ukrainian tank operators have arrived in the country for training to operate Challenger 2 tanks that London intends to transfer to Kiev this spring.
"Ukrainian tank crews have arrived in the UK to begin training ... The UK will provide Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine alongside global partner nations - demonstrating the strength of support for Ukraine, internationally," the ministry said on Twitter.
As for the US, Ukrainian troops might soon start training in the United States as the Pentagon mulls training Ukrainians on the Patriot defense system at a military base on US soil, stated officials.
Washington has so far been training Ukrainians in European countries, providing Kiev's forces with expertise on various NATO weapons systems, including the hallmark HIMARS that the US has been providing to Kiev since the start of the Ukraine war.
The issue has not been confirmed yet, with no official decision taken by Washington yet. However, reports on Ukrainians training in the United States came after President Biden confirmed that Washington would be providing Ukraine with Patriot missile systems to Kiev.
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