The Pentagon plans to create a new command that will coordinate the equipment and training of the Ukrainian military.
This is reported by the New York Times.
It is about streamlining the training and assistance system that was created "on the fly" after the Russian invasion in February. According to several military and administration officials, the system will be under a single new command, based in Germany and led by a senior American general.
Gen. Christopher G. Cavoli, the top American officer in Europe, recently presented a proposal outlining the changes to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, officials said. Austin and his top aides are reviewing the plan and are likely to make a final decision in the coming weeks, the senior officials said, adding that the White House and Pentagon approve of the approach.
The new command signals the United States' expectation that the Russian threat to Ukraine and its neighbors will persist for years to come, current and former senior officials said.
"It recognizes the reality of the mission-critical provision of security assistance to our Ukrainian partners. It will also create a formal security framework that our allies and partners can adhere to when placing their equipment and training in the hands of the Ukrainians," said Admiral James G. Stavridis, former the supreme commander of the combined armed forces of NATO in Europe.
General David H. Petraeus, the former top US commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, agreed. "This would be a very important and very appropriate initiative," he said, "given the scale of the US effort and the contribution of our NATO allies."
The new command, which will report to General Cavoli, will implement decisions made by the Defense Contact Group of Ukraine, a 40-nation coalition that the US Department of Defense created after the Russian invasion to meet Ukraine's needs and requests. This week, a meeting of the highest military officials of the member countries of the group took place in Brussels.
About 300 people will be involved in the mission, it will be located in Wiesbaden (Germany), the headquarters of the US Ground Forces in Europe. A significant part of the training of Ukrainian soldiers on American weapons systems already takes place there or nearby.
The changes, intended to give formal structure to what has been improvised since the war began, roughly model the U.S. training and aid efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two decades.
The proposal originated this year with General Todd D. Walters, General Cavoli's predecessor, and was refined after General Cavoli took command in July.
As reported, the latest package of US military aid includes a wide range of important combat equipment, but some of it, including new HIMARS installations, is aimed at supporting Ukraine's long-term defense needs.