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Soldiers from the Ukrainian Armed Forces will soon start their training in the US on how to use the Patriot air defence system.
Pentagon press secretary and US Air Force brigadier general Pat Ryder confirmed the development during a media briefing on 10 January.
The training will commence next week at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, which is a training schoolhouse where the US Army trains its soldiers and allied and partner nations’ forces on the Patriot missile system’s use.
Ryder said: “The training will prepare approximately 90 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers to operate, maintain, and sustain a defensive system over a training course expected to last several months.”
The training aims to prepare Ukrainian soldiers to defend themselves against Russia’s aerial bombardments.
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Ryder stated that this training would include classroom work, hands-on Patriot systems training, and simulation lab activities.
Ryder added: “The training will be tailored to provide relevant tactics, techniques, and procedures based on battlefield conditions in Ukraine to enable them to employ that to maximum effect once they are back in Ukraine.”
In another move to support the war-torn nation, Canada is procuring a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and associated munitions from the US for approximately $297.96m (C$406m).
Announced by Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand, the NASAMS will strengthen the Ukrainian forces’ air defence capabilities to counter destructive air attacks from Russian troops.
This marks Canada’s first high-priority donation of an air defence system to Ukraine. It is being provided as part of a previous $372.45m (C$500m) military aid package for Ukraine, announced in November 2022.
Anand said: “Canada will continue to collaborate with the US and other allies and partners to address Ukraine’s defence priorities in the short and long-term, including with high-capability equipment such as NASAMS.”