Everyone complains that the DoD is a slow moving ship that’s so hard to turn on a dime. In fact, high-up officials have left, likening change at the Pentagon to defying gravity. But this week, the Pentagon proved that when everything is aligned, they have the power and motivation to design, build, and deliver mission needs. The Pentagon has been supporting Ukraine, meeting with leaders in the U.S. defense industry. And other organizations, like Aerovironment, have also directly sent drones to Ukraine – outside of their regular contracts with the DoD. But in more ongoing support to Ukraine, the DoD this week provided another $800 million in security assistance. The Pentagon notes that this is the 8th drawdown package of pulling gear from existing U.S. military stock. But included in this package are 72 155 mm howitzers, 144,000 artillery rounds, 121 Phoenix Ghost unmanned aerial systems, and vehicles with which to tow the howitzers.

What is the Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial System?

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby explained that the much-talked-about Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial System is a system developed by the Air Force in response to Ukrainian requirements. The benefit of the Phoenix Ghost system is that it will likely require minimal training for Ukrainian users who are already experienced in operating other UASs, according to Kirby. But the U.S. will be working through the training requirements with the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

“Phoenix Ghost is a tactical, unmanned aerial system … [it] provides similar capabilities to the Switchblade series of unmanned systems — similar capabilities, but not exact,” said Kirby. At this time he was not willing to elaborate further on the capabilities of the Phoenix Ghost.

Last week the U.S. announced it would ship 18 howitzers to Ukraine, along with 40,000 artillery shells to go with them. The U.S. will now ship 72 additional howitzers to Ukraine and 144,000 additional shells. That brings the total number of howitzers to 90. The latest security assistance package also includes 72 tactical vehicles which can be used to tow the howitzers.

“These additional 72 howitzers will help basically fit out five more … artillery battalions for the Ukrainians,” Kirby said. “This was … very much in keeping with their needs, specifically in the Donbas, and the kind of fighting that has already started there and we expect to continue over days and weeks ahead.”

Eucom Control Center – Ukraine

Eucom Control Center – Ukraine is helping to move all of the eight drawdown packages from the U.S., as well as, equipment and supplies from U.S. partner and allied nations. A senior defense official said Eucom Control Center – Ukraine was established in March in Stuttgart, Germany, to support both security force assistance and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainians. The first rounds of equipment are expected to be in Ukrainian hands this weekend.

“[It’s] responsible for consolidating Ukrainian assistance needs. The Eucom Control Center coordinates and synchronizes timely delivery of U.S., allied and partner contributions of assistance,” the official said. “This cell is co-located with the UK-led International Donor Coordination Center, which coordinates resources from amongst our international community partners to enable donor countries from around the world to provide military equipment and aid to the armed forces of Ukraine.”


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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.