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Small Arms, Ammunition From U.S. Headed to Ukraine's Defense Forces This Week

By C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Dec. 08, 2021) -- The final elements of a $60 million security systems package to Ukraine -- initially announced in August -- will ship this week, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said.

During a briefing today at the Pentagon, Kirby told reporters that the last portions of the existing security package, which includes small arms and ammunition, is shipping now.

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Other parts of that security assistance package, meant to help Ukrainians defend their sovereignty against Russian aggression, included the Javelin missile system, which is already in the hands of Ukrainian servicemembers.

Kirby said as with all security assistance packages, the material provided can be used as the recipient nation sees fit -- but that it will be used for self-defense purposes only.

"Our expectation for use of the Javelins ... [is] that they are to be used in a self- defensive mode ... for self-defense purposes," Kirby said. "There is no geographical restriction on where they can be used inside Ukraine. We expect them to use them responsibly and for purposes of self defense."

Right now, Kirby said, there are no additional announcements or decisions about additional security assistance to Ukraine.

Fuel Storage Tanks in Hawaii

The Navy has shut down use of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Honolulu, Hawaii, after reports that some of the fuel stored there had contaminated drinking water.

"The secretary is obviously aware of this issue, and he's following it closely," said Kirby. "Nothing's more important to him or to the department -- and I know the Navy feels this way as well -- than the health and welfare of our people and their families. And obviously, we're all deeply concerned by the prospect that contaminated water would have found its way into on-base residences and into the daily lives and diets of our people. So it's of significant concern to the secretary."

Kirby said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has been communicating with Secretary of the Navy Carlos DelToro.

They attended town halls together in Hawaii just a few days ago and to meet with experts to get a better understanding of the issue.

Right now, Kirby said, the Navy is leading the investigation within the department.

"I certainly won't get ahead of their investigative efforts or what decisions they might make," he said. "But it is something that the secretary is very closely monitoring and very much in touch with Navy leaders on."

The fuel facility, while operated by the Navy, supports all branches of the military, and can hold up to 250 million gallons of fuel.

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