On March 7, the USA introduced that it will ship 400 troops to Lithuania to go with 600 already there. On April 7, we noticed American artillery passing by way of Poland.
On the time, folks puzzled if that was gear headed to Ukraine, however nope, it was a part of that American reinforcement of NATO’s japanese flank.
That unit was round 100 Pennsylvania Nationwide Guard troopers with 10 M109 Paladin howitzers and supporting gear. So not a very huge column. But from the announcement of the brand new deployment to arrival, it took 5 weeks. Shifting heavy gear, its logistical assist, and tons of ammunition takes time. This isn’t Amazon Prime. Russia’s pre-invasion buildup itself took at the least 5 months, and so they have a sturdy rail system to internally transfer materials.
That’s why it’s a bit of irritating seeing issues like this:
We are able to concede that materials isn’t getting there quick sufficient. However that has nothing to do with a “lack of urgency.” Logistical challenges don’t disappear simply because Ukraine is without doubt one of the good guys. Shifting sufficient materials to equip and maintain an Military that has grown to half one million sturdy takes time. Check out the most recent $800 million help package deal from the USA:
- 18 155mm Howitzers and 40,000 artillery rounds;
- Ten AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars;
- Two AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel air surveillance radars;
- 300 Switchblade Tactical Unmanned Aerial Techniques;
- 500 Javelin missiles and 1000’s of different anti-armor programs;
- 200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers;
- 100 Armored Excessive Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Autos;
- 11 Mi-17 helicopters;
- Unmanned Coastal Protection Vessels;
- Chemical, Organic, Radiological, Nuclear protecting gear;
- Medical gear;
- 30,000 units of physique armor and helmets;
- Over 2,000 optics and laser rangefinders;
- C-4 explosives and demolition gear for impediment clearing; and
- M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitions configured to be per the Ottawa Conference.
An M113 weights 12 tons. So we’re speaking about shifting 2,400 tons of armored personnel carriers. A Hummer is 3 tons, so one other 300 tons. These howitzers are round eight tons. There’s solely 18 of them, however the ammo? Round 2,000 tons. The remainder of these things provides as much as 1000’s of extra tons. There’s solely a lot transport capability out there. The truth that the USA can transfer this a lot materials in a month is unbelievable. Bear in mind, the final $800 million help package deal was introduced on March 16, whereas this newest one was introduced April 13. Pentagon delivers the help as rapidly as it will possibly, after which the following package deal is introduced.
The Open Supply Intelligence (OSINT) group tracks each flight to Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport in Poland, the worldwide hub for the Ukraine equip and resupply effort, about 90 miles from the Ukrainian border. It’s a unending parade of American, British, Canadian, Ukrainian, and different allied planes planes delivering goodies for the battle effort. Here’s a Ukrainian cargo plan flying in new TB2 drones from Turkey on Friday.
For enjoyable, I appeared up that aircraft to see what it was as much as Saturday, and it made a run from Romania to Rzeszów. Bizarre, on condition that Romania shares a border with Ukraine, however a transparent signal that logistically, it’s merely simpler to handle all the pieces out of the Rzeszów hub. You’ll be able to see all of the Ukrainian cargo runs to Rzeszów because the battle started here.
On Friday, Rzeszów hosted two Canadian cargo planes (one from Macedonia, the opposite from Prestwick, England), one American cargo flight from Dover Air Pressure base, one constitution cargo flight from Sweden, that Ukrainian flight from Tekirdag, Turkey, with the TB2 drones, one MEDAVAC flight probably shuttling battle wounded to Oslo, Norway, and various smaller craft from a number of NATO militaries, maybe bringing in trainers and different VIPs aiding within the battle effort.
The day prior, on Thursday, the airport hosted three American cargo flights, and one every from Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Eire, and Turkey.
On Saturday, this Australian Air Force cargo plane introduced Bushmaster armored automobiles to Rzeszów. Australia introduced this donation of 10 Bushmasters on April 4, arriving on the sixteenth. Shifting heavy gear takes time, and this was simply 10 automobiles, not a number of hundred.
In the meantime, NATO is rubbing Russia’s nostril in these shipments. These planes might flip off their transponders and arrive in secret, however they’re actively broadcasting their presence, their supply, and their vacation spot. They need Russia to know what they’re as much as, repeatedly reminding them of Western resolve, maybe hoping it erodes Russia’s personal. Russia is definitely helpless to do something about it.
In the meantime, we haven’t talked about ammo but. Autos and killer drones and plane are the attractive big-ticket objects. However a military runs on its abdomen … and on ammunition.
A Be aware on Munitions Consumption:
A lot dialogue is at the moment taking place on the extent of assist given to Ukraine by way of munitions and ordinance. Typically we are going to see assist mentioned in greenback quantities, or it variety of rounds. Not often is the speed of consumption addressed.
I consider some context can be helpful right here. The essential load for a rifleman once I was deployed was 210 rounds—7 mags of 30. Many people carried extra relying on circumstances & expectations. Add 2 pistol mags for one more 30 (2×15). So 240 rounds at naked minimal.
You may discover we’re leaving out machine weapons, SAWs, and different platforms for the second. Ukraine has mobilized reserves, territorials, militia, and has rising numbers of volunteers becoming a member of its ranks. For ease of math, let’s ballpark their forces at 100K fight personnel working in an infantry capability. Simply to offer these personnel a SINGLE fundamental fight load is 24 million rounds of ammo. In heavy combating, particularly in city areas, infantry can burn by way of that fundamental load in lower than a day.
Now let’s speak artillery. The UAF makes use of an analogous group to the Russians relating to artillery, on paper. [Self-propelled] Artillery Battalions (for instance) consist of three firms of 6 self-propelled weapons—18 complete. That is simple math, 1 battalion firing a measly 11 rounds/gun eats 198 rounds. In a protracted or assist fireplace intensive engagement, a single battalion can simply burn a thousand rounds in a day.
24 million rounds weighs round 11 tons. And keep in mind, that’s a single fight load! A thousand 152mm artillery rounds weighs round 48 tons. And that doesn’t embody machine gun ammo, anti-tank and anti-air missiles, grenade launchers, tank rounds, Infantry Combating Car cannon rounds, and mortar rounds. In WWII, an estimated 45,000 rounds of small-arms munitions had been fired for every enemy kill. It was 50,000 in Vietnam. Quite a lot of ammo is fired in fight. A LOT.
Backside line, combating a standard battle eats ungodly quantities of ammunition, and Ukraine can’t manufacture it for itself. A few of it will get captured from the Russians, however most of it has to return from exterior, consuming into the logistical chain feeding Ukraine’s battle effort. There’s solely a lot Ukraine can choose up from Poland and shuttle again residence at any given time, and the way do you even start to prioritize these things? Ukraine desperately wants all of it and extra, and it wants it yesterday!
That’s why NATO has prioritized sure shipments over others, like anti-tank, anti-aircraft missiles, and small arms munitions the primary month of the battle. Ukraine was demanding plane, however the logistical footprint might’ve displaced the missiles that turned the tide within the Battle of Kyiv. Certainly, the Pentagon has repeatedly referred to logistics because the motive for holding again sure weapons. For instance, it’s nice we’re lastly sending artillery howitzers to Ukraine, however NATO artillery makes use of 155mm rounds, that are incompatible with the 152mm Soviet-era weapons Ukraine already has in service. Now Ukraine has to verify the precise caliber rounds get to the precise models, and god forbid Russia takes out the storage depot they’re saved at, Ukraine can’t seize present inventory from elsewhere to feed their American-sourced weapons.
Nevertheless paternalistic it could sound, American logistical prowess is the very best on the planet. And there’s one thing to be mentioned about dispassionate determination making, as callous as that sounds. One may not make the very best calls whereas in fight-or-flight mode. I belief the Pentagon to make the precise calls, similar to I belief their determination to inexperienced mild NATO-standard 155mm artillery weapons. Hopefully it means different NATO nations are emptying their shares of comparable weapons and ammunition.
Anyway, I wrote this as a result of I used to be triggered by individuals who suppose huge, heavy, and voluminous army gear and ammunition magically present up after urgent an order button on a cellphone app. There are folks across the globe busting their asses to get gear to Ukraine as rapidly as humanely doable. May “extra” be accomplished? Maybe, however folks must cease appearing like nothing is being accomplished. When the story of this battle is written, this large worldwide logistical effort will likely be a serious motive Ukraine triumphed towards the Russian bear.
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