Members of the US Air Force’s 352d Special Operations Wing and 24th Special Operations Wing deployed to Ukraine for the month of August to demonstrate commitment to the Black Sea region and strengthen relationships and combined capability.
The wing deployed two US Air Force MC-130J Commando II aircraft to conduct bilateral training with Ukrainian Special Operations Forces and Ukrainian Air Force members.
The deployment preceded a White House meeting between US president Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on September 1.
Ahead of the presidential meeting, the Biden administration requested up to $60 million in military aid to Ukraine. In a notification to Congress, the White House said the aid was necessary due to a “major increase in Russian military activity along its border.”
The latest tranche of military support for Ukraine will include more Javelin anti-tank missiles. The US secured patrol boats, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and counter-artillery radars in previous packages.
Commenting on the SOW deployment to Ukraine, Maj. Gen. David Tabor, Special Operations Command Europe commanding general, said multinational operations in the Black Sea Region ensured stability throughout the region.
During the training exercise, Tabor, Ukrainian Maj. Gen. Hryhoriy Halahan, Commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukrainian Member of Parliament, members of the US embassy Kyiv and many other US and Ukrainian military members participated in a low-level flight over Kyiv, Ukraine in a MC-130J.
Over the past few years, the 352 SOW has participated in multiple exercises with Ukraine in the Black Sea region, to include Seabreeze and Fiction Urchin.