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News   Defense News

U.S. Commitment to Indo-Pacific Region Not Limited by Security Assistance to Ukraine

May 19, 2022 | BY C. Todd Lopez , DOD News

As of May 6, the U.S. has committed about $4.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. Thousands of pieces of military hardware and over 50 million rounds of ammunition were included. 

But U.S. assistance to Ukraine doesn't affect its focus on the Indo-Pacific region, or limit its ability to ensure partners in the Pacific get the hardware and supplies they need, a senior defense official said during a briefing today at the Pentagon. 

A tank with several soldiers crosses a bridge while other soldiers look on.
Bradley Bridge
An M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle crosses an improvised ribbon bridge in the Republic of Korea, May 18, 2022, during the Warrior Ready Strike Training Exercise. The exercise increases proficiency of operations between the U.S. and Republic of Korea military.
Photo By: Army Capt. Paul O'Daniel
VIRIN: 220518-A-LA260-711C

Most of the hardware that's been provided to Ukraine, the official said, comes through presidential drawdown authority — which means they are pulled directly from existing military stocks. 

"We're taking things that are off our inventory shelves, and giving them directly to Ukraine," the official said. "Most of the military capabilities, the systems, the weapons, the platforms that our allies and partners in the Pacific use, they get it through foreign military sales ... It's a completely different set of priorities, a completely different set of sources." 

A small boat full of military personnel pulls up alongside a larger vessel.
Team Training
Navy and Thailand Maritime Enforcement Command Center personnel practice maritime tactics, techniques and procedures during the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training Exercise, Aug. 15, 2021, in Phuket, Thailand.
Photo By: Thailand Maritime Enforcement Command Center
VIRIN: 210815-N-PL200-0009C
Soldiers sit in web seating in the rear of a helicopter.
Chinook Crew
Spc. Rhett Bundy and Spc. Christopher Romo of the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade escort equipment aboard a CH-47 Chinook helicopter while participating in the Balikatan 2022 military exercise, April 2, 2022, at Fort Magsaysay, Philippines.
Photo By: Army Maj. Trevor Wild
VIRIN: 220403-A-SU758-002

As of April 21, the U.S. has provided, over 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems; more than 5,500 Javelin anti-armor systems; 700 Switchblade tactical unmanned aerial systems, 90 155 mm Howitzers and 208,000 155 mm artillery rounds; 17 counter-artillery radars; and over 50,000,000 rounds of ammunition to the Ukrainians. 

Today, President Biden embarks on his first trip to Asia as president. That trip, is only part of the U.S. continued commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. 

Two small watercraft pull up alongside a much larger military ship.
USS Momsen
The guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen prepares to pull into Singapore for a regularly scheduled port visit, April 14, 2022.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Heath Zeigler
VIRIN: 220414-N-JC800-0011C

"The president's trip is proof positive of that, as well as everything else we've been doing in the Indo-Pacific," the official said. "Everybody is focused on Ukraine, and we understand that. But that doesn't mean that we've stopped working with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific, it doesn't mean we stopped our air and naval activity in the Indo-Pacific — and we've been talking about that throughout the last 85 days."