(CNS News) – On Sept. 28, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced it would be sending $1.1 billion in “additional security assistance” to Ukraine, raising the total to $16.2 billion in aid since Russia’s invasion in February.
According to a DOD press release, the new $1.1 billion package includes the following equipment, which the U.S. will send to Ukraine:
-- 18 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) and associated ammunition;
-- 150 Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs);
-- 150 Tactical Vehicles to tow weapons;
-- 40 trucks and 80 trailers to transport heavy equipment;
-- Two radars for Unmanned Aerial Systems; 20 multi-mission radars; Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems;
-- Tactical secure communications systems, surveillance systems, and optics;
-- Explosive ordnance disposal equipment;
-- Body armor and other field equipment;
-- Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.
This latest package is being sent under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). The USAI package “represents a multi-year investment in critical capabilities to build the enduring strength of Ukraine’s Armed Forces.”
Under the USAI package, the United States is able to procure “capabilities from industry.” USAI packages differ from the recent packages sent through the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA), under which the U.S. has been able to “deliver equipment to Ukraine from DOD stocks.”
DOD News writer C. Todd Lopez explained in an article how the USAI packages differ from PDA:
“The latest USAI package includes 18 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, along with associated ammunition. Being part of USAI, the United States will purchase those systems from the manufacturer in order to provide them to Ukraine, rather than pull them directly from U.S. military inventory, as has been done previously with the 16 HIMARS sent to Ukraine under presidential drawdown authority.”
An important aspect of this announcement is much of the equipment, such as the new HIMARS, will take a few years to produce. In the meantime, the U.S. can continue “to pull existing systems from inventory if need be," according to Lopez.
“If we don’t invest today to procure HIMARS for the future, they won’t be there when the Ukrainian armed forces need them down the road,” said a DOD official.
“This is a really sizeable investment and it’s intended so that down the road, Ukraine will have what it needs for the long-haul to deter future threats,” the official continued.
The DOD also made clear that this USAI investment “in no way rules out us continuing to invest in their current force with capabilities that are available today, and that we can draw down today from U.S. stocks.”
According to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, “Ukraine needs our help to win today, and they will still need our help when the war is over.”
According to the press release, the DOD, through the PDA and the USAI, “continues to work with Ukraine to meet both its immediate and long-term security assistance needs."
“Together with our Allies and partners, our unified efforts will help Ukraine continue to be successful today while building the enduring strength of Ukraine’s forces to ensure the continued freedom and independence of the Ukrainian people,” reads the press release.