A US Air National Guard pilot in the back seat of a Ukrainian Su-27 during exercise Safe Skies in July 2011.
US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn
US troops have been in contact with Ukrainian troops throughout the war to provide advice and support.
Members of the US Air National Guard have been providing advice for using US-made weaponry.
Despite US support, Ukraine’s air force is still at a disadvantage against Russia’s larger force.
Since Russia attacked Ukraine last year, US airmen have been on the phone with their Ukrainian counterparts, discussing ways to operate against Russian forces and how to use US-made weapons, US Air Force officials said this month.
While Russia has some aerial advantages, both sides have effective air-defense systems that have kept the other from gaining air superiority, but Ukraine’s air force continues to receive US-made weapons that allow it to strike valuable targets.
As with other US-made hardware, those weapons come with constant US support, according to Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, director of the US Air National Guard.
It started out as “here’s what you need to do to survive the initial attack” and has evolved to “here’s how you can continue to deliver airpower,” Loh told reporters at the Air and Space Forces Association symposium on March 8.
Ukrainian and US personnel during exercise Safe Skies in July 2011.
US Air National Guard/Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn
Much of the support comes from the California National Guard, which has worked with Ukraine since 1993 as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.
That relationship has “allowed a Ukrainian soldier to pick up the phone to say, ‘Hey, I’m having a problem with this weapon system’ to somebody who actually trained them and solve a problem on the ground,” Loh said in response to a question from Insider.
US airmen have advised Ukrainians on conducting agile combat employment, the US Air Force’s concept for dispersed operations, and on using US-made weapons, including the AGM-88, a high-speed anti-radiation missile provided last year to target Russian radars, and guidance kits, called JDAMs, that allow bombs to glide farther.
“We’re continuing to provide them the tactics, techniques, and procedures for things like agile combat employment [and] new weapons systems, as you’ve seen in the press lately — ‘how do I use a Glide JDAM’ and some of those things,” Loh said. “It was HARMs before that. So that …read more
Source:: Business Insider