During a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that the U.S. will be releasing a new military assistance package to Ukraine, including High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), armored vehicles and "other urgently needed support."
LLOYD AUSTIN: The United States is also committed to sending more HIMARS munitions, precision guided artillery ammunition, and tactical vehicles and other urgently needed support. And we'll continue to provide historic levels of security assistance to help Ukraine defend itself. And later this week, we'll roll out our next presidential drawdown package of weapons, ammunition, and equipment for Ukraine.
It will be our 16th drawdown of equipment from DOD inventory since August 2021. It will include four or more HIMARS advanced rocket systems, which the Ukrainians have been using so effectively and which have made such a difference on the battlefield. And it will include more rounds of MLRS and artillery ammunition.
The Ukrainian armed forces have repeatedly demonstrated their skill in operating HIMARS and M270s and 155 millimeter howitzers. And those capabilities have been crucial in the Donbas fight. Ukraine has also made real gains on the ground with other equipment that members of this contact group have provided.
For example, Ukraine has definitely employed donated harpoon systems against Russia's navy in the Black Sea. And those systems helped Ukraine reclaim Snake Island. So I look forward to today's discussion on how we can continue to rush Ukraine more critical capabilities and urgently needed ammunition.