How the US helped Ukrainian soldiers repair artillery on the battlefield

When the M777 155 mm cannon on the front lines stopped working, Ukrainian soldiers immediately called a hotline with a group of American experts for help.

“What should I do? In what ways can I proceed? “The Ukrainian serviceman approached a team of American military experts working at a base in northeastern Poland and asked them.

The conversation took place in private chat groups on mobile devices, making it possible for American troops and private military contractors to offer assistance to the Ukrainian military at any time and from any location.

One of the American technicians swiftly advised the Ukrainians to take the howitzer’s back bolt off and then showed them how to use a needle to tighten it. The 155 mm weapon kept firing thanks to this soldier’s attentiveness to orders.

Quickly, one of the American experts instructed the Ukrainians to remove the howitzer’s back bolt and demonstrated how to tighten it with a needle. Since he followed orders, the 155 mm weapon could keep firing.

The United States and other NATO members are hesitant to send soldiers to Ukraine for this mission for fear of sparking a full-scale military conflict with Russia. Since this is the case, the hotline is the best option for assistance.

The US support group is stationed at a military base in Poland. They say Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines often ask for instructions on how to repair how to fix artillery, and this need is increasing. The support team had 50 members a few months ago, but this number will increase to 150 in the next few weeks.

This group currently has about 20 US service members; the rests are employees and civilian contractors. They hope the team will continue to grow as new sophisticated weapons arrive in Ukraine, as well as new chat rooms set up to help.

“A lot of times, we get requests for support right on the front lines, where artillery battles could be happening right when we help them fix the problem as quickly as possible,” one technician said. “Sometimes we have to wait a bit until the Ukrainian soldiers can get to a safer location.”

According to one officer, the fundamental issue was that Ukrainian troops were overusing their weapons by firing at an excessive pace for an extended period. Due to the high turnover rate, American troops frequently return weapons to the depot for cleaning or servicing.

This officer said that after firing thousands of rounds continuously, the slits in the barrel of a howitzer were almost completely worn out. “They are using this artillery in a way that we didn’t expect,” said the US officer on the support group. “We’re really learning from them by seeing how much the weapons can endure and their limits.”

Shipping weapons abroad for repair is not something the Ukrainian military is fond of doing. When it comes to military equipment, the United States claims that the Ukrainians fix 99 percent of the issues and keep using them.

In addition to discussions about the incident of howitzers, the support team also received requests for help from soldiers who were hit by gunfire or armored vehicles that had stalled.

“A lot of cases when they’re on the front lines, they can’t record video because the mobile network has problems,” said a US soldier in charge of maintenance. “They usually take pictures and send them to the chat group so we can diagnose the problem.”

An American soldier said that after many online tutorials, Ukrainian artillerymen had improved their skills in repairing weapons, even mending broken parts of the cannon.

The Ukrainian soldier explained that the damaged cannon was once again operational after being welded together, claiming that this had previously been impossible.

To provide guidance, American specialists must first assess the issue, devise a solution, and translate the information into Ukrainian. They intend to purchase automated translation technology from the market so that they may swiftly view the content given by Ukrainian soldiers.

As more sophisticated Western weapons systems are brought to Ukraine, the maintenance crew intends to improve its troubleshooting skills and stockpile a wider range of replacement components.

The group predicted that the US-sent Patriot air defense missile system to Ukraine would be difficult to maintain since it would necessitate more specialized knowledge.

This organization is a node in a growing European-wide supply chain that sends weaponry to Ukraine. In addition to sending their own equipment, various countries have also set up repair assistance teams across the world to help Ukraine.

“As we move more advanced equipment like the Stryker, M2 Bradley, and main battle tanks, maintenance will have to increase,” said Douglas Bush, assistant secretary of the Army for Procurement. , identify. “I think we’ve seen the challenges, and the Army knows how to deal with them.”

Earlier Ukrainian president Zelensky said The situation in eastern Ukraine is very difficult. President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine needed new weapons and faster delivery to cope with the “very difficult” situation in Donetsk when Russia repeatedly attacked.

“The situation is very difficult. Bakhmut, Vuhledar, and other regions in Donetsk are regularly subject to Russian attacks. 

They are constantly trying to break through our defenses,” Zelensky said. Video demonstration on the night of January 29.

“Russia wants the conflict to prolong and exhaust our forces. So we must accelerate actions, speed up supplies and open up new weapons options for Ukraine.”

President Zelensky made his latest call to step up arms supplies just days after Germany and the US agreed to provide combat tanks to Ukraine.

He said on January 28 that Ukraine urgently needed US-made ATACMS missiles with a range of about 300 km, which Washington has so far refused to provide. An adviser to President Zelensky said that negotiations on the supply of long-range missiles and fighter jets were proceeding “rapidly.”

In his latest comment, Mr. Zelensky pledged to ensure that “our pressure will be greater than our opponents’ offensive capabilities,” which means “partners need to maintain defensive support for us.”

“The enemy does not care about their manpower, and despite a large amount of damage, they still maintain the intensity of their attack,” he said. “Facing this requires extraordinary fighting spirit and the full awareness of the soldiers that defending Donetsk is also protecting the whole of Ukraine.”

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