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Indiana National Guard preps armored vehicles for Ukraine

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Ukraine’s military and citizens are now over two months into their struggle for sovereignty, and they’re about to receive a shipment of armored vehicles from the Indiana National Guard to help. 

Despite the delicate geopolitical situation, the United States has been called upon frequently since the conflict began to come to Ukraine’s aid, both internationally and domestically (and, of course, from Ukraine itself). Though the U.S. military continues its stance of not committing troops to the fight, service members nationwide are still engaged in supporting Ukraine against Russia’s aggression in many ways – service members like those of the Indiana National Guard.

As part of the Biden administration’s $800 million execution of its Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows the president to “authorize the immediate transfer of articles and services from U.S. stocks without congressional approval in response to an ‘unforeseen emergency,’ ” Indiana National Guardsmen at Camp Atterbury have been working tirelessly to prepare their M113A3 armored personnel carriers (APCs) for shipment to Ukraine. 

Two Indiana National Guardsmen work positioning an M113A3 in preparation for shipment to Ukraine
Two Indiana National Guardsmen work positioning an M113A3 in preparation for shipment to Ukraine (screen capture from YouTube)

The Soldiers inspected, repaired and test drove all of the vehicles to ensure they were fully operational, according to a statement from the National Guard. 

“We got short notice, and the team did a complete technical inspection and were able to get all of these things ready ahead of time in less than five days,” said Brig. Gen. Justin L. Mann, Director of the Joint Staff for the Indiana National Guard. “…A monumental, herculean effort by our maintainers, doing great work and getting this equipment ready.”

This effort by the Indiana National Guard is just one example of the U.S. military’s rapid response to equip and support the Ukrainian people. This latest authorization appears to be particularly tailored to meet the needs of the Ukrainian military now seeing intensified fighting in the Donbas region, which is less mountainous and requires different weapons than those leveraged further west. This latest security package is the largest of seven since August of 2021. Per last Thursday’s release from the Department of Defense, also included in this authorization are:

  • 18 155mm Howitzers and 40,000 artillery rounds;
  • 10 AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars;
  • Two AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel air surveillance radars;
  • 300 Switchblade Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems;
  • 500 Javelin missiles and thousands of other anti-armor systems;
  • 200 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers;
  • 100 Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles;
  • 11 Mi-17 helicopters;
  • Unmanned Coastal Defense Vessels;
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear protective equipment;
  • Medical equipment;
  • 30,000 sets of body armor and helmets;
  • Over 2,000 optics and laser rangefinders;
  • C-4 explosives and demolition equipment for obstacle clearing; and
  • M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel munitions configured to be consistent with the Ottawa Convention.
A column of M113A3s assembled at Camp Atterbury (screen capture from YouTube)

Related: The new Russian plan for Ukraine is too ambitious for its own good

The M113 has been in service since 1961, and even its newest variant, the A3, has been a workhorse for the U.S. Army since 1986. The tracked vehicle can carry a total of thirteen troops (two crew, 11 other personnel) at a top speed of 66 kilometers (41 miles) per hour on the road, and has amphibious capabilities as well.

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Feature image: Screen capture from YouTube

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Tory Rich

Tory Rich is a Marine veteran, and now coaches football and wrestling, so he spends most of his time lecturing younger people about “back in the old days.” Fortunately, there aren’t a lot of kids to tell to get off his lawn deep in the woods of Vermont. Since he got out of the Marines in 2011, Tory got a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from UNLV. While he lived in Las Vegas he dabbled in powerlifting and learned just enough about mixed martial arts to get his butt kicked.