US to remove weapons from Pentagon stockpile for latest aid to Ukraine


WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. announced Wednesday what officials say The final package of military aid could be to ukraine Unless Congress approves supplemental funding legislation. He is staying on Capitol Hill.

These weapons, worth up to $250 million, include air munitions and other missiles, artillery, anti-armor systems, ammunition, demolitions and medical equipment and parts. The aid, provided through Presidential Drawdown Authority, will be drawn from Pentagon reserves.

In a statement, Marine Lt. Col. Garon Garn, a Pentagon spokesman, said there is no further funding to replace weapons taken from the department's stockpile. And the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which provides long-term financing for future arms contracts, also has no money.

As a result, Garn said Wednesday, "without supplemental funding, there will be a shortfall in replenishing U.S. military reserves, which will impact U.S. military readiness."

President Joe Biden is urging Congress to pass a $110 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other national security needs. This includes $61.4 billion for Ukraine, about half of which is to replenish Pentagon stocks. It also includes about $14 billion for Israel as it fights Hamas and $14 billion for US border security. Other funds will be used for security needs in Asia-Pacific.

Due to an accounting error that overestimated the value of some weapons shipped to Ukraine over the past year or so, there is still about $4.2 billion left in restored drawdown authorization. But since the Pentagon doesn't have the money to replenish the list sent to Kiev, the department will have to "rigorously assess" any future aid and its impact on the U.S. military's ability to defend America, Garn said. he said.

It is the 54th tranche of military aid taken off the department's shelves and sent to Ukraine, and is similar in size and content to several other recent packages.

US defense and government leaders have argued that the weapons are vital for Ukraine to maintain its defense and continue offensive efforts against Russian forces during the winter months.

At a Pentagon briefing last week, Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder referred to a recent letter that the Defense Department comptroller sent to Congress warning that the US would use the last of its replenishment funds by the end of the year.

Pentagon Press Secretary Ryder said, "Once those funds are paid out, the funds we have available to provide security assistance to Ukraine will be exhausted." “We will, again, continue to urge passage of the supplement we have presented. ...It is imperative that we have the funding needed to ensure they get the most critical battlefield capabilities they need.”

The latest aid package comes as the war in Ukraine drags on into its 22nd month. Russia fired about 50 martyr drones at targets in Ukraine and shelled a train station in the southern city of Kherson, where more than 100 civilians had gathered to catch a train to Kiev. And the day before, Ukrainian warplanes damaged a Russian plane There is a quagmire in the Black Sea near Crimea as troops from both sides struggle to make much progress on the frontline.



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