Berlin supports Kyiv with the Patriot air defense system. But before it can be used in Ukraine, the staff must complete a training course. This is now beginning in Germany. The crews for the Marder tank have been there since last week, and training on the Leopard 2 is to follow soon.
The Air Force starts training Ukrainian soldiers on the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system. The group landed on Tuesday and should start training this Thursday, according to security sources. Altogether there are about 70 Ukrainians. The first Ukrainian soldiers had already arrived in Germany last week for training on the Marder infantry fighting vehicle. Training on the Leopard-2 main battle tank is also scheduled to begin soon.
In consultation with the United States, the federal government wants Ukraine to have a Patriot system to ward off Russian attacks with drones, rockets or planes. These typically include a fire control center, radar, power generator, and six or more of the truck-mounted launchers.
Meanwhile, the Patriot units that had been relocated to Poland reported "initial operational readiness," as the Operations Command announced on Wednesday. The Bundeswehr wants to support the defense of Polish airspace with three anti-aircraft missile squadrons. Poland's Deputy Defense Minister Marcin Ociepa recently said the Patriot units are stationed near the small town of Zamosc in the south-east of the country. Important rail infrastructure is also located there, which is important for supplying Russia-attacked Ukraine from the NATO countries.
Bundeswehr soldiers have been on site in Poland since January 16 to work with Polish units to ensure that the components of the weapon system are installed. The aim is to protect NATO airspace and thus also Polish territory, the infrastructure and the population. The assignment is initially limited to six months.
After a missile hit Polish territory in November last year, then Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and her Polish colleague Mariusz Blaszczak agreed that German Patriot missile defense systems would be relocated to Poland. Two Polish citizens died in the missed shot.