The role of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command is on full display since Russia launched its premeditated, unprovoked war against Ukraine on Feb. 24.
To date, USASAC, which oversees the Army's foreign military sales and security assistance programs, has facilitated the delivery of $2 billion in weapons, training and materiel since the beginning of the invasion, and approximately $2.9 billion since Russia's 2014 seizure of Crimea.
These multibillion-dollar security assistance packages include hundreds of thousands of items like anti-armor systems, unmanned aerial systems, artillery, rocket systems, armored personnel carriers and other wheeled and track vehicles, body armor, munitions, medical supplies and protective equipment.
According to USASAC Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Brad Nicholson, deliveries are facilitated around the clock and at unprecedented speeds, affirming America’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“The United States is in support of a whole-of-government approach to Russian aggressive actions toward Ukraine, and every command and every agency has its contributions,” said Nicholson. “USASAC’s role is providing materiel and services to ensure America’s partners and allies can defend themselves, and promote regional stability and democratic values.”
In coordination with security assistance enterprise members, USASAC is successfully providing materiel and services, around-the-clock, via multiple streams:
PRESIDENTIAL DRAWDOWN AUTHORITY:
This directive, under the Foreign Assistance Act, authorizes the president to direct the immediate transfer of defense articles and services from DOD stocks to foreign countries and international organizations for unforeseen emergencies. Such assistance can begin arriving within days—or even hours—of approval.
Congress has progressively increased the cap on this drawdown authority from $100 million to $11 billion for Fiscal Year 2022, most recently in the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden on May 21. Since last August, the Administration has utilized this Presidential Drawdown Authority 23 times to provide Ukraine more than $8.6 billion in military assistance directly from DoD stockpiles.
The authority to provide military assistance through a drawdown has been used to support allies and partners in crisis all over the world. It remains the U.S. government’s most responsive tool to rapidly transfer U.S. military and other equipment in an unanticipated emergency that cannot be addressed by other means. A detailed summary of the U.S. military assistance provided under drawdowns for Ukraine is available at the State Department website at https://www.state.gov/u-s-security-cooperation-with-ukraine/.
VARIOUS TYPES OF DOD SECURITY ASSISTANCE:
On April 24, the State Department notified Congress of its intention to obligate more than $713 million in Foreign Military Financing funding for Ukraine and 15 other allied and partner nations in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. A Sept. 8 State Department fact sheet noted that “assistance in this notification will help NATO Allies backfill capabilities they have donated to Ukraine from their own stockpiles to retain and strengthen NATO deterrence.”
· Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative
The Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative allocates funding for the mid- to long-term contracting of critical capabilities from industry. On Sept. 28 the DoD announced another approximately $1.1 billion in additional security assistance for Ukraine under the USAI.
· Foreign Military Financing
In FY 2021, DOD provided Ukraine $115 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and $3 million in International Military Education and Training funding. Additionally, prior to Russia’s renewed invasion, FMF supported Ukraine’s acquisition of a wide array of capabilities.
· Excess Defense Articles (EDA)
In FY 2022, the United States utilized the Excess Defense Articles Program to transfer Mi-17 helicopters and MRAPs to Ukraine.
· Third Party Transfers (TPT)
In advance of Russia’s invasion and after the outbreak of war in February 2022, the United States approved Third Party Transfers from 14 NATO Allies and close partners to provide U.S.-origin equipment from their inventories for use by Ukrainian forces. Deliveries to date include almost 12,000 anti-armor systems of all types; more than 1,550 anti-air missiles; radars; night vision devices; machine guns; rifles and ammunition; and body armor.
· Foreign Military Sales
The United States has $595.9 million in active government-to-government sales cases with Ukraine under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS sales notified to Congress are on the DSCA website. USASAC currently has 186 cases with Ukraine.
· Direct Commercial Sales
From 2015 through 2020, the United States also authorized the permanent export of over $274 million in defense articles and services to Ukraine via Direct Commercial Sales.
· Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022
The Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, passed by the Congress and signed May 9 by President Biden, provides the United States with a critical additional tool to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s unprovoked invasion. It also provides the United States with the ability to lend or lease defense articles to other Eastern European countries that have been affected by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Regardless of its source, U.S. military materiel is making historically rapid transfers from U.S. soil to Ukrainian battlefields, sometimes within days instead of the months or years that some FMS cases can take. Nicholson credits these timelines to both experience and cooperation.
“Security assistance and foreign military sales may not, in itself, be built for speed, but the war in Ukraine has shown how agile and responsive we are in crisis. That being said, we mustn’t forget that USASAC is not new to security assistance,” said Nicholson. “This is our area of expertise and has been for over a half a century. We’ve been successfully executing cases that have global impact for decades, and we’ve kept a watchful eye on ways to streamline our processes.”
Nicholson said while USASAC is the center of gravity for the Army Materiel Command’s security assistance enterprise, “we are not working in a vacuum. We could not accomplish this mission without the coordination and support of the AMC Life Cycle Management Commands, Army Contracting Command, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, as well as other Department of Defense agencies and U.S. industry.
“Along with a vast team of enterprise organizations, USASAC is proud to support our nation’s allies and partners, and we will continue to work hard to ensure they receive the exceptional service and support that the United States is known for,” said Nicholson.
Since January 2021, the United States has invested more than $18.2 billion in security assistance to demonstrate its steadfast commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a DOD release. This includes more than $17.6 billion since the Feb. 24 invasion by Russia. Since 2014, the United States has provided more than $20.3 billion in security assistance for training and equipment to Ukraine.