US has given so much weaponry to Ukraine that defense officials say one of its munitions stockpiles is getting 'uncomfortably low': report

Ukrainian service members fire a shell from a M777 Howitzer at a front line, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv Region, Ukraine July 21, 2022.
Ukrainian service members fire a shell from a M777 Howitzer at a front line, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv Region, Ukraine July 21, 2022.REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
  • Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the US has sent lots of weaponry to the eastern European nation.

  • Among those are M777 Howitzers and the 155mm ammunition for the weapons.

  • But this has depleted the US's own stockpiles of the munitions, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The US has provided Ukraine with so much weaponry to fend off Russia's unprovoked invasion that Pentagon stockpiles for some munitions are "uncomfortably low," defense officials told The Wall Street Journal.

Lower levels of 155mm ammunition, which can be fired from US-made M777 Howitzers, have some officials especially concerned, the Journal reported on Monday.

An unnamed defense official told the Journal that the level of 155mm ammunition in US stockpiles hasn't reached critical levels, but it's "uncomfortably low" and "is not at the level we would like to go into combat."

Though the US isn't engaged in any major conflicts at the moment, as the Journal noted, the American military used a howitzer just last week to attack Iranian-backed groups in Syria.

When asked on Monday whether depleted stockpiles of 155mm ammunition were a direct result of US support for Ukraine, a senior defense official told reporters that the "short answer" is "no."

"We're able to provide what we have provided and still maintain our readiness as a military force," the official said, according to Voice of America reporter Jeff Seldin.

Howitzers are towed artillery weapons that can strike targets miles away. As of August 24, the US has committed to sending 126 M777 Howitzers to Ukraine and up to 806,000 155mm artillery rounds for the weapons, according to the Pentagon.

The US last week included up to 245,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition in a $2.98 billion military aid package for Ukraine — the largest single collection of security assistance committed to the eastern European country since Russian forces invaded in late February.

Those weapons, however, will be provided in a different manner than previous packages and will not draw from existing Pentagon stockpiles.

Aside from the howitzers and their ammunition, the US has also sent Ukraine a long list of other military supplies since Russia invaded in February, including mortar rounds, rocket systems, drones, counter-artillery capabilities, air defense systems, and personnel equipment.

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