According to Breaking Defense, the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) warned Wednesday that ammunition stockpiles in the United States and its allies had reached a “dangerously low” point with no immediate indication that they would rise to a level that is acceptable.
At the Chief of the Air Staff’s Global Air & Space Chiefs’ Conference in London, Air Force Gen. James Hecker encouraged NATO partners to carefully consider weapons stockpiles and the number of fighter squadrons required to maintain a credible deterrent in Europe.
According to him, the military sector has not been able to meet the needs of American and ally forces or the vast thirst of the Ukrainian army for ammunition.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States has given Ukraine more than $41 billion in weaponry and other forms of military assistance.
For Ukraine to wage artillery-heavy conflicts, the Pentagon has removed more than 2,000,000 155mm artillery rounds, 7,000 precision-guided 155mm artillery rounds, 500,000 105mm rounds, and tens of thousands of shells from other munitions classes, mostly from existing inventories.
The recent decision by the Biden administration to include controversial cluster bombs in the most recent assistance package to Ukraine, which can be launched by the several 155mm American-made weapons that Ukraine controls, was motivated at least in part by a lack of substitutes among American stocks.
It is unclear when or if the United States will be able to replace the crucial ammunition.