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Why Ukrainian troops are being sent to Oklahoma for training

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Patriot missiles are seen at the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in Jasionka, Poland.

Patriot missiles are seen at the Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport, March 25, 2022, in Jasionka, Poland. Ukrainian troops are being sent to Oklahoma, United States for Patriot missile training.

Evan Vucci, Associated Press

Ukrainian troops will travel to the United States as early as next week for training on how to use the Patriot missile system, a surface-to-air missile defense system.

Between 90 and 100 Ukrainian troops will receive training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, CNN first reported Tuesday.

President Joe Biden announced in December that the United States would send the patriot missile system to Ukraine following requests from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Deseret News reported.

How long will the training take?

Training on the Patriot missile system typically takes a year, but the Ukrainian soldiers will receive expedited training that is expected to take several months, according to BBC News.

How will the U.S. training Ukrainian troops affect the war with Russia?

Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a press briefing that following several months of training, the Patriot missile system will help Ukraine defend itself from Russian missiles.

“Once fielded, the Patriot … will contribute to Ukraine’s air defense capabilities, and provide another capability to the Ukrainian people to defend themselves against Russia’s ongoing aerial assaults,” Ryder said, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., told Russian state news that the United States training Ukrainian troops was “another confirmation of Washington’s de facto involvement in the Ukrainian conflict,” per Newsweek.