Western nations are growing concerned over Ukrains’ ability to quickly replenish ammunition stocks in the fight against Russia. The U.S. is working to help Ukrainian troops to change the way they fight, “relying less on artillery barrages and more on how the troops maneuver on the battlefield, as concerns mount over Western nations’ ability to replenish ammunition stocks.”
According to Politico:
The war in Ukraine has been marked by the massive use of artillery by both sides, with thousands of shells smashing into the front lines daily, straining the ability of the U.S. and European countries to keep up.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking to reporters after a meeting in Brussels with other NATO leaders, alluded to the growing concerns in Washington and elsewhere over stockpiles. He said Ukraine has “used a lot of artillery ammunition. We’re going to do everything we can, working with our international partners to ensure that we give them as much ammunition as quickly as possible.”
As the U.S. and Europe look for ways to increase their output of shells to keep their own warehouses stocked and supply Ukraine for its warm weather offensives, they are looking at the current training efforts in England and Germany to change how Ukraine moves on the battlefield. Part of that means figuring out ways to fend off Russia without expending too much ammo.
“We are working with the Ukrainian soldiers in various places throughout Europe to emphasize additional training on maneuver,” Austin said, “so that as they place more emphasis on maneuver, and shaping the battlefield with fires and then maneuvering, there’s a good chance that they’ll require less artillery munitions.”
The U.S. has also denied the transfer of ATACMS, which would more than double the range of current Ukrainian rocket artillery. The weapon would extend range to 190 miles, which would dwindle America’s stockpiles and harm the U.S. military’s readiness for a future fight.