US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved the treatment of wounded Ukrainian soldiers at a US military hospital in Germany, according to a memo obtained by CNN and confirmed by two US defense officials.
The plan would allow Ukrainian troops to be treated at a US military hospital for the first time since Russia invaded the country in February. It allows for the treatment of up to 18 wounded soldiers at a time at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the massive hospital in Germany where the military has for years treated US service members who suffered injuries in combat.
Austin offered verbal guidance in late May to begin offering treatment to wounded Ukraine soldiers, according to the memo. On June 29, Austin formalized the verbal guidance in a memo entitled “Guidance for Medical Treatment of Wounded Ukrainian Service Members.”
Despite the plan receiving final approval nearly one month ago, Landstuhl has not yet received Ukrainian service members for medical care.
The official said the purpose of the memo was to remove any red tape that would slow down the process of offering treatment if the need arose. The plan would permit treatment if there was no facility available in Ukraine or in a closer country. Landstuhl is approximately 700 miles from the Ukrainian border.
If Landstuhl were to receive wounded Ukrainian troops, the service members would have to leave Ukraine by train or car before the US, which has no troops in Ukraine, could evacuate them by air to Ramstein Air Base.
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