WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Robert Portman (R-Ohio), and Lindsey Graham ( RS.C.) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, asking them to immediately expedite shipments of military equipment to Ukraine, as decided by Congress under the Supplementary Appropriations Act for Ukraine. Adopted on May 19, the law provided nearly $20 billion in military aid to the Ukrainian army. Equipment recommended for immediate delivery includes medium and long range air defense systems, 155 mm howitzers, high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS), armored personnel carriers, larger and more capable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS) and Mi-17 helicopters.
The senators also urged defense leaders to consider recommending the inclusion of fourth-generation fighter jets, as well as funding for necessary flight training, in future military aid programs.
“While the medium and long range air defense and HIMARS capabilities included in the June 27, 2022 and July 8, 2022 assistance programs are a good start, these systems must be delivered at a rate and in sufficient quantity to have an impact on the result. fighting in Donbass, Kherson and other regions,” the senators wrote. “We urge you to act quickly, while coordinating with NATO allies and partners, to immediately provide this equipment to the Ukrainian military.”
The full letter can be read below and accessed here.
FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER:
July 15, 2022
Dear Secretary Austin and General Milley:
On May 19, 2022, Congress passed the Supplementary Appropriations for Ukraine Act, which provided nearly $20 billion in military aid to the Ukrainian military. In the weeks that followed, President Biden approved five drawdowns and sent $3.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including the $400 million package approved on July 8, 2022. June 23, 2022 , we met with a delegation of Ukrainian fighter pilots and air defense officers to hear first-hand what they need to defend Ukrainian cities and military installations from Russian air and missile attacks.
Protection of Ukrainian cities, military infrastructure and forces on the ground against Russian air and missile attacks requires ground-based air defense systems, counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) systems and Avenger mobile anti-aircraft missile systems. Longer-range air defense systems will allow Ukraine to target Russian aircraft and cruise missiles operating at altitudes the Stingers cannot reach. C-RAM will provide critical point defense capability against missiles and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) targeting civilian and military critical infrastructure. The Avengers will provide Ukrainian forces with short-range mobile air defense against low-flying aircraft, helicopters and UAS.
In addition to these critical air defense capabilities, it is imperative that the United States continue to provide 155mm howitzers, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), armored personnel carriers, larger and more capable UAS platforms and Mi-17 helicopters to Ukraine. military. The importance of the continued delivery of ammunition cannot be overstated given the critical nature of Ukrainian efforts to retake lost territory. We also urge you to consider including fourth generation combat aircraft and the necessary flight training in future military aid programs.
While the medium and long range air defense and HIMARS capabilities included in the June 27, 2022 and July 8, 2022 aid programs are a good start, these systems must be delivered at a sufficient rate and quantity to have a impact on the outcome of the fighting in Donbass, Kherson and other regions. Our aid must be decisive and not incremental. We urge you to act quickly while coordinating with NATO allies and partners to provide this equipment to the Ukrainian military immediately.
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