Stars and Stripes
May 25, 2023

Abrams tanks for training Ukrainians now in Europe, Pentagon hopes to begin F-16 pilot training soon

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday that more than 30 American-made M1 Abrams tanks for training Ukrainians have arrived in Europe, so they are prepared for when the battle-ready versions arrive later in the year.

“Earlier this month, 31 M1 Abrams training tanks from the United States arrived at Grafenwöhr in Germany,” Austin said at the start of a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a collection of about 50 nations that convenes regularly to decide what equipment Ukrainian forces need….


“We have been focused from the very beginning on providing Ukraine the capabilities it needs to be successful on the battlefield,” Austin said after the Ukraine group met during a news conference with Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


When Austin and Biden chose to send the M1A2 version of the tank, the most sophisticated version, it was decided to build them through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative….


Roughly 250 Ukrainian troops will arrive in Germany this week to begin training on the tanks, according to a report by Voice of America.

The meeting of the defense contact group covered some new issues, such as the recent international agreement to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighter jets, including the U.S.-made F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Abrams tanks in Grafenwöhr, Germany, 2022. Photo: U.S. Army.