SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – U.S. Transportation Command is delivering the first shipment of Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine as part of the United States’ $2.85 billion military aid agreement announced earlier this year.
The shipment — containing more than 60 Bradleys — left the shores of North Charleston, South Carolina, last week, and will provide the Ukrainian forces with additional offensive and defensive capabilities to protect their borders against Russia’s illegal invasion.
“The situation in Ukraine really brought to the forefront the importance of logistics and the complexity of power projection and sustainment,” said Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, USTRANSCOM commander, during an interview with Joint Force Quarterly.
“Our support to Ukraine would not be possible without the strong relationships we have with our Allies and Partners that provided the access, basing, and overflight to facilitate the delivery of aid,” she continued.
Bradleys are armored fighting vehicle that transport infantry in combat zones and provide supportive fires. Helping oversee the loading of the equipment is Army Lt. Col. Rebecca D’Angelo, 841st Transportation Battalion commander, who notes that the Bradleys will be essential to Ukraine as the war continues.
“The Bradley is a very powerful vehicle that we are providing to the Ukrainians,” she said. “This is going to hopefully enhance their capabilities to provide forward advancement in the battlefield and regain lost grounds, by having equipment that matches or exceeds what the Russians have.”
Along with the 60 Bradleys, the Biden Administration has announced an additional $2.5 billion in security assistance, comprising more fighting vehicles, ammunition, missiles, and Stryker armored personnel carriers. This brings the total U.S. contribution to the effort to $27.1 billion since the Russian invasion began in February 2022.
“In addition to the large security assistance package announced [mid-January] by the Department of Defense with significant additional air defense and armor capabilities for Ukraine, multiple nations announced similar significant support to include Germany and Netherlands' contributions of Patriot missile air defense capabilities, Canada's procurement of a [National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System] and the United Kingdom's donation of Challenger 2 tanks … just to name a few,” a senior defense official said during a background briefing.
While this is short of a complete list of equipment and nations aiding Ukraine, the influx of materiel is crucial as Russia’s attacks near the Donetsk province city of Bakhmut escalate.
“The Ukraine operations underscore the importance of having an agile mobility force, with both a strategic airlift fleet that can delivery immediately, within hours of notification, and the available sealift that can deliver a much greater volume of materiel that is essential to delivering and sustaining a decisive force,” Van Ovost said.
“Working across the enterprise to draw equipment from different locations across the globe, transport it into Europe, and transfer it to our partners that take it directly to the battlefield has been a remarkable feat and demonstrates the value of our partnerships,” she said.
USTRANSCOM exists as a warfighting combatant command to project and sustain military power at a time and place of the nation's choosing. Powered by dedicated men and women, TRANSCOM underwrites the lethality of the Joint Force, advances American interests around the globe, and provides our nation's leaders with strategic flexibility to select from multiple options while creating numerous dilemmas for our adversaries.