Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Wednesday detailed US plans to train Ukrainian forces on the rocket systems the Biden administration has pledged to give Kyiv.
As part of a $700 million weapons package that was announced last week, the US will send Ukraine High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, that have a range of up to 50 miles. Ukraine is eager to use the weapons and is already asking for more, but Milley said the plan is to train one platoon at a time.
The UK is sending Ukraine US-made M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), which are similar to the HIMARS and also have a range of up to 50 miles. Milley said the British will also be training one platoon at a time on how to use the MLRS.
“It will do no good to just throw this weapon system into the battle. You’ve got to be trained on it to get the maximum effective use out of the weapon as a precision system,” Milley said.
The training is expected to take about three or four weeks, according to Milley. What’s not clear is where the training will take place. US troops have been teaching Ukrainian forces how to use Howitzers and other equipment in Germany and in undisclosed locations elsewhere in Europe.
If the training on the rocket systems works out, the US and its allies are expected to send more. Russia has been clear that it views the West providing Ukraine with such weapons as a major escalation. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow will respond by pushing Ukrainian forces further from the Russian border to protect Russian territory from being in the range of the rockets.