The US military also helps to train Ukrainian forces.
In November, about 150 members of the Florida National Guard’s Task Force Gator deployed to Ukraine as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, replacing the Washington National Guard. The training group, established in 2015, was designed to improve Ukraine’s defensive capabilities.
In addition to Task Force Gator, Special Operations Command Europe has a “large role” in training and advising Ukrainian special forces through exercises, communication and coordination “at every echelon,” the Pentagon said in a statement Tuesday.
The Pentagon did not disclose how many special forces were in Ukraine because of operational security concerns.
“Training with our Ukrainian partners cultivates trust, fortifies readiness, and develops relationships, which in turn promotes peace and stability throughout Europe,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth said in the statement.
The Pentagon would not go into detail about timelines for training, operations or deployments, nor would it say if any schedules have changed in light of the buildup of Russian forces near Ukraine.
Marines from Europe and the region operate throughout the continent for training and exercises, the Pentagon said, and thousands of Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force will take part next year in the biannual Cold Response exercise in Norway.
US Army Europe and Africa trains in Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Germany, the Netherlands and Greece, while the 4th Security Force Assistance Brigade has rotational teams in Georgia, Latvia, North Macedonia, Poland and Romania.
The Florida National Guard’s 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is in Ansbach, Germany.
UPDATE: This story and headline have been updated with an updated timeline from the State Department on a security assistance package to Ukraine.
CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.