This past Tuesday, Defense Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder explained that troops from Ukraine would start their training out in Fort Sill, located in Oklahoma, to make use of the Patriot Air Defense System as soon as next week as Russian aerial raids and assaults continue to pound Ukraine.
Ryder explained to the press that training would get ready just about 90-100 Ukrainian soldiers to operate, maintain, and sustain the powerful defensive system over the course of this training regime that is slated to last a few months.
“Once fielded, the Patriot will continue to contribute to Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and provide another capability to Ukrainian people to defend themselves against Russia’s ongoing aerial assaults,” explained Ryder.
PENTAGON PRESS SEC: "I can confirm that training for Ukrainian forces on the Patriot Air Defense System will begin as soon as next week at Fort Sill, Oklahoma." pic.twitter.com/gFDK1HbPsL
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) January 10, 2023
Ryder went on to highlight that the Patriot missile system would contribute to the air defense capabilities of Ukraine as part of a more expansive effort from the United States and the international community as a whole to make sure Ukraine had the necessary air defense systems that it would need to be able to defend its people and its military.
“It’s something that will enable them to take down … ballistic missiles, adversary aircraft; [it’s] really up to them on how they employ it,” he explained.
The announcement has been made public just under a month after the Biden administration recently stated that it would be issuing another $1.85 billion in various forms of military aid to Ukraine, which included offering up the Patriot air defense system that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his people needs to be able to defend themselves from Russian assaults.
Zelenskyy claimed via a report issued by The Hill that aid from the U.S. would be utilized for funding weapons “crucial” to assist Ukraine against the Russian invaders and become the “turning point to win on the battlefield.”
The Patriot system — which Reuters has reported is an acronym for Phased Array Tracking Radar for Intercept on Target — is a highly advanced air defense system used by the U.S. that is built by Raytheon Technologies Corp with theater-wide surface-to-air missile defense.
While the makers originally designed the system to be able to stop both ballistic missiles and aircraft, Reuters also explained that it could be utilized to stop the frequent “kamikaze” drone strikes utilized by Russian forces that have been taking down key Ukrainian critical infrastructure.
As reported by Raytheon, its manufacturer, these Patriot systems have been able to stop 150 ballistic missiles in combat situations since 2015.