Austin Says US Will Maintain Stockpiles of Munitions Sent to Ukraine

Biden's $33 billion request for new Ukraine aid includes $550 million for a new munitions reserve

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told a Senate panel Tuesday that he won’t let the US deplete its stockpiles of munitions that are being shipped to Ukraine.

“It’s very critical to ensure that we maintain what we consider to be our minimum required stockage levels, and you can rest assured that I will not allow us to go below that in critical munitions,” Austin told a Senate defense appropriations hearing.

When President Biden asked Congress for a massive new $33 billion aid package for Ukraine, it included $550 million to establish a Critical Munitions Acquisition Fund. Austin said the fund would let the Pentagon create a “strategic reserve” for the munitions it is sending to Ukraine, which includes Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, Javelin anti-tank missiles, and heavy artillery rounds for howitzers.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, it’s estimated that the US has sent Ukraine about a third of its Javelin stockpile and a quarter of its Stingers. Raytheon, the manufacturer of Stingers and former employer of Austin, has warned it cannot produce the anti-aircraft missiles for a few years due to material shortages.

Raytheon’s warning prompted senators to call on President Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era law that gives arms makers access to critical materials ahead of other domestic manufacturers.

Highlighting the US focus on arming Ukraine, President Biden visited a Lockheed Martin facility in Alabama on Tuesday that produces Javelins. The US policy of pouring weapons into Ukraine is a boon for US arms makers like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, and they are expected to see long-term benefits from the war.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.