Ukraine Gain: U.S. M1 Abrams Battle Tanks Land in Germany Ahead of Schedule

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

U.S. M1 Abrams battle tanks destined to train Ukrainian forces have arrived in Germany and are on their way to the Grafenwoehr Army base ahead of schedule, Pentagon officials announced Thursday.

AP reports Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee the U.S. had moved “a number of tanks over into theater” so the Ukrainians could begin training on the advanced heavy battlefield armor ahead of an anticipated summer offensive against Russian forces.

The training is expected to last about 10 weeks, timed to finish when the Abrams tanks currently being built for the Ukrainian forces will be ready, he said.

Breitbart News reported the tank movement back in January when President Joe Biden first announced the contribution.

Biden did not mention the costs, but shortly after his remarks, the Department of Defense announced a package of $400 million under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

U.S. troops have trained more than 8,800 Ukrainians so far this year already, including on how to use Stryker and Bradley fighting vehicles and M109 Paladins together on the battlefield.

The Bradleys and Strykers are armored and armed vehicles used to ferry troops while the Paladin is a self-propelled howitzer gun.

The Biden administration is yet to rule out further contributions to Ukraine as part of its escalating contributions to Kyiv.

During Thursday’s hearing, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) pressed Austin to move quickly to get the tanks into Ukrainian troops’ hands and onto the battlefield, the AP report said.

“We are doing everything possible to accelerate the delivery of these tanks, and early fall is a projection,” Austin affirmed.

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