USTRANSCOM delivers critical aid to Ukraine, troops to Europe

Support to Allies and Partners in Europe graphic. (USTRANSCOM graphic)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (May 24, 2022) – U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) has delivered more than 52 million pounds of security assistance equipment to Ukraine that is enabling critical success on the battlefield against the Russian force that invaded there Feb. 24. This aid includes missiles, artillery, tanks, helicopters, and body armor.


“The speed and reliability at which we are delivering this significant assistance demonstrates America’s stalwart support for the Ukrainian government,” said Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, commander of USTRANSCOM. “No other nation has the strategic comparative advantage in logistics we are leveraging on behalf of Ukraine.”


In addition to security assistance, USTRANSCOM has airlifted more than 16,000 troops from the U.S. to Europe to assure allies and deter Russian aggression against NATO, bringing the total number of U.S. service members in Europe to approximately 100,000. 


USTRANSCOM conducts globally integrated mobility operations, leads the broader Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise, and provides enabling capabilities in order to project and sustain the Joint Force in support of national objectives.


“Strong relationships with our diplomatically aligned allies and partners are paramount, as they facilitate our access, basing, and overflight options, creating a robust distribution network that affords us a positional advantage,” said Van Ovost.


Even while USTRANSCOM moved troops and security assistance to Europe, it continued to support operations and exercises around the globe. In U.S. Southern Command, USTRANSCOM conducted movements in support of Counter Terrorism, Counter-Violent Extremist Organizations and Counter Narcotics missions. 


Troop rotations in and out of the U.S. Central Command theater remained a priority, and multiple readiness exercises in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) area of responsibility required air and surface lift as well as air refueling. 


Global support also included missions conducted in the homeland. USTRANSCOM supported medical team deployments to assist U.S. Northern Command and Health and Human Services battle COVID-19. And although the historic airlift of non-combatants from Afghanistan took place more than six months ago, USTRANSCOM continued to support Operation Allies Welcome.


Finally, USTRANSCOM supported exercises African Lion in U.S. Africa Command and Operation Pathways in USINDOPACOM. Both exercises are the largest in their respective theaters and involve multiple nations. Exercises are critical to maintaining access and interoperability among partner nations.


USTRANSCOM relies on three component commands to ensure the nation can ‘defend forward’ and achieve national security objectives: the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) and the U.S. Army’s Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) in Norfolk, Virginia.


U.S. Air Force Col. Bary Flack commands the 436th Maintenance Group at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, where much of the security assistance cargo has been marshalled and shipped to Ukraine. He said the Dover team is synchronizing efforts with USTRANSCOM, AMC, SDDC, and the Joint Munitions Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois.


Flack added that the airmen at Dover have great pride in their work. “They have a purpose. They have a steely-eyed look because they know what they do matters. They know there is somebody on the other end that needs this material, and they will move as fast as they need to safely get this material to the folks.”


Van Ovost reflected on the work of USTRANSCOM’s components supporting allies and partners in Europe. “Together, SDDC and MSC have delivered armored vehicles including Bradleys, Abrams and Paladins, ammunition, fuel and other vital supplies where they were needed.”


“AMC military and commercial air carriers have deployed significant volumes of troops and continue to deliver critical lethal aid for Ukraine’s defense,” said Van Ovost. Nearly 40 percent of the more than 480 airlift missions have been flown by USTRANSCOM’s commercial partners. “We are inextricably linked to our commercial partners.”


“This is how the U.S. projects power – fort to port, port to fox hole, airfield to airfield,” said Van Ovost.


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 multiple dilemmas for our adversaries.


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