Ukrainian Soldiers Have Started Training on U.S. Abrams Tanks, Pentagon Says

According to the Pentagon, the first group of about 400 Ukrainian troops has begun training in Germany to operate and maintain American M1 Abrams tanks, another important step in arming Kiev as it retakes territory from Russia. Wants to claim.

About 200 soldiers — roughly an armored battalion — began conducting combined arms instruction at the training range on Friday. in Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels, GermanyPentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Garron Garron said in a statement.

This instruction covers basic soldier tasks such as marksmanship and medical skills, along with training at the platoon and company level, and finally large-scale exercises in which battalion-sized units face off against each other.

Another 200 Ukrainian soldiers began training on how to fuel and maintain the tanks, Colonel Garn said.

Defense Department officials Said before About 31 tanks will be sent to Germany to be used in a training program for Ukrainian troops that will take 10 to 12 weeks. Officials have said that battle-ready tanks could arrive on the battlefield in Ukraine by the fall.

Pentagon officials had expressed skepticism about sending the Abrams, citing concerns about how Ukraine would maintain the advanced tanks, which require extensive training and servicing. And officials have said it could be years before they reach the battlefields of Ukraine. But eventually Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III Came into view around that committing to send American tanks was necessary to encourage Germany to follow through with its coveted Leopard 2 tanks;

US defense officials initially said M1 Abrams tanks would not arrive in Ukraine until next year. But since January, when the Biden administration reversed its longstanding resistance. Announced to send tanks.Senior defense officials have said they want to speed up the timeline.

The start of tank instruction, led by the Seventh Army Training Command, comes a week later. President Biden told US allies he would allow Ukrainian pilots. A step toward eventually giving other countries their own American-made aircraft to Ukraine, to receive training on American-made F-16 fighter jets.

Ukraine is preparing a major counter-offensive, It is expected to take back more territory occupied by Russia. In the early days of the war. As with the fighter jets, the delivery of Abrams tanks and trained crews would be months away, too late to affect the project.

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