The war in Ukraine continues to yield lessons learned, some of which were highlighted during an Oct. 11 security cooperation seminar in Washington D.C.
“The major lesson I would take away is the strong relationship between our two countries,” said James Hursch, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
Hursch said that relationship, built through security assistance and security cooperation, allowed the United States to positively influence the Ukrainian military’s leadership abilities, and impacted how they are currently operating. “We also, I think, have learned a lot about how to do very quick supply logistics for a partner nation in an [ongoing conflict].”
The seminar was held at the AUSA’s 2022 annual meeting and exposition and featured guest speakers from the nation’s top security assistance organizations, including Hursch; Brig. Gen. Brad Nicholson, commanding general of the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command; and Patrick Mason, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports & Cooperation.
During his remarks, Hursch referenced long-term security assistance that helped the Ukrainian Armed Forces develop and exercise their military leadership and build their NCO Corps. Materiel and training assistance has come in many forms and at record speeds, including USASAC’s training and advisory teams, and its foreign military sales (FMS) and foreign military finance cases, Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and excess defense article cases.
To date, USASAC, which oversees the Army's foreign military sales and security assistance programs, has facilitated the delivery of over $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.
“Security assistance and foreign military sales may not be built for speed, but the war in Ukraine has shown how agile and responsive we are in crisis,” said Nicholson in a statement earlier this year. “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.”
The multibillion-dollar security assistance packages that continue to make its way U.S. soil to the Ukrainian battlefields include 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.
USASAC manages over 6,500 Foreign Military Sales cases, worth more than $217 billion, for 137 countries.