Air assistance

The United States provided more than $1 billion in security assistance to Ukraine last year

The content of the latest approved security assistance package for Ukraine – valued at $350 million – is ongoing and is billed as ‘the largest presidential withdrawal package in history’, a senior official has said defense during a briefing at the Pentagon.

The official said $240 million of this package, which includes things like anti-armour capability, has already been delivered to Ukraine to support them in their fight against an unprovoked and illegal Russian invasion.

Over the past year, the official said, up to $1 billion in aid has been delivered to Ukraine, though not all of it may have been classified as “withdrawal”.

A “withdrawal,” according to documentation available from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, allows the president in certain circumstances — including things like peacekeeping operations, narcotics control, international disaster assistance, counterterrorism assistance, nonproliferation assistance, migration, and refugee assistance – to remove existing weapons, ammunition, and equipment from existing U.S. military stockpiles and supply to other nations.

Airman 1st Class Stephen Knotts, a ramp services apprentice with 436 Airport Squadron, positions a cargo loader on an aircraft during a foreign military sales mission with Ukraine at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, February 10, 2022. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $5.4 billion in total assistance to Ukraine, including security and non-security assistance. The United States reaffirms its unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of a secure and prosperous Ukraine. (US Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

The process of providing this kind of aid, the official said, begins with the State Department requesting the president’s permission to take the levy, and also the Defense Department carrying out an analysis of what the Ukrainians need – in consultation with the Ukrainians – then sees what is actually available.

“Because the draw is taken from service inventory,” the manager said, “we don’t go to the market and buy new items. We have to have it on hand to be able to deliver it.

In August, the United States provided such aid to Ukraine, valued at $60 million. Already, all of this assistance has been provided. In late December, the official said, another withdrawal package of $200 million was approved, and most of that package is now in Ukrainian hands, although the official said the US is still delivering. some parts of this package, including ammunition.

Pallets of ammunition, weapons and other equipment bound for Ukraine are processed by the 436th Airport Squadron during a foreign military sales mission at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, on 10 February 2022. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $5.4 billion in total assistance to Ukraine, including security and non-security assistance. The United States reaffirms its unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of a secure and prosperous Ukraine. (US Air Force photo by Mauricio Campino)

The official said that typically the background processes for setting up security assistance can take weeks or even months, but for Ukraine the ministry has been in able to drastically compress this background process into hours or days – which has greatly helped to speed up efforts to get Ukrainians the help they need.

The United States is not alone in helping Ukrainians, the official said. In fact, some 14 other nations have also helped out.

“Since the invasion, we have seen … 14 separate countries providing security assistance to Ukraine – and some of these countries are not used to providing such substantial assistance to Ukraine,” he said. said the manager. “It also represents a real bureaucratic feat for their defense ministries to be able to act so quickly, so I think we have to give credit to our allies and partners here.”

Airman 1st Class Stephen Knotts, a ramp services apprentice with 436 Airport Squadron, positions a cargo loader on an aircraft during a foreign military sales mission with Ukraine at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, February 10, 2022. Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $5.4 billion in total assistance to Ukraine, including security and non-security assistance. The United States reaffirms its unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of a secure and prosperous Ukraine. (US Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

The official said security assistance to Ukraine will continue and the United States will continue to work with Ukraine to determine what is needed and how the United States can help.

“We’re always…looking at what Ukraine needs, and we’ve been doing that for years now,” the official said. “We have just accelerated our process of identifying needs and also accelerated our consultations with Ukrainians – talking to them daily, as opposed to the periodic meetings we did before this crisis.”

The official said the administration has applied for additional funding and the department plans to continue providing presidential aid to Ukrainians. In addition, the official said, the department is seeking assistance from Congress to replenish stocks that have been drawn down to provide assistance already provided to Ukraine.

“It will continue, and as President Biden has said, we will continue to support Ukrainians moving forward,” the official said.

Pictured: U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 43rd Air Mobility Squadron and 43rd Operations Squadron load cargo onto a C-17 bound for Poland at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, on February 10, 2022. The United States reaffirms its unwavering commitment to Ukraine. sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of a secure and prosperous Ukraine. (US Air Force Photo/Jim Bove)

BY C. TODD LOPEZ with the US Department of Defense.