Pentagon Confirms Presence of US Forces in Ukraine, Declines to Disclose Number
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - An undisclosed number of US forces are present in Ukraine as part of a training mission and routine special operations forces exercises, Defense Department spokesperson Anton Semelroth said on Tuesday.
“About a week ago, the Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, known as Task Force Gator, took over the [Ukraine training] mission when it rotated with the Washington National Guard’s 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team,” Semelroth said on Tuesday. “In addition, Special Operations Command Europe plays a large role in the development of Ukrainian Special Operations Forces… Due to operational security concerns, we cannot disclose the specific number of personnel.”
The training mission, known as the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JMTG-U), supports the long-term US policy of supporting the professional development and defensive capacity of Ukrainian forces, Semelroth said.
JMTG-U adjusts its mission’s size, scope and scenario as the Ukrainian Armed Forces progress through the development plan, he also said.
US special forces training with Ukraine cultivates trust and fortifies readiness, in turn promoting peace and stability in Europe, Semelroth said. Ongoing training and support in the country are designed to strengthen relationships and affirm US commitment to the success of a free and stable Ukraine, Semelroth added.