02.11.2022 - 10:32 [ Pentagon - defense.gov ]

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder Holds an On-Camera Press Briefing

Q: So up until this point, there haven’t been any U.S. troops inside of Ukraine, and now we do have U.S. troops inside Ukraine —

(CROSSTALK)

GEN. RYDER: — I would — yeah, that’s — that’s not — we’ve had U.S. forces serving at the embassy as part of the — the Defense Attaché Office, which is where these guys are assigned. So we’ve been very clear there are no combat forces in Ukraine, no U.S. forces conducting combat operations in Ukraine. These are personnel that are assigned to — to conduct security cooperation and assistance as part of the Defense Attaché Office.

Q: Right, but this would be different because they’d be working outside the U.S. embassy. I’m just wondering if people should read this as an escalation in U.S. involvement in the war?

GEN. RYDER: No, no, no, this is just responsible management of the capabilities that we’re providing to the Ukrainians. And as I mentioned, the Ukrainians are working very closely with us to provide insight and tracking of those capabilities in places where it’s not safe for U.S. personnel to go. Thank you.

Q: — if I can just follow up on that, can you clarify are these — are there U.S. troops, like U.S. Marines, security forces protecting the embassy personnel who is doing the inspections?

GEN. RYDER: We have U.S. Marines at the embassy doing normal U.S. Marine-type guard duties. But my understanding is that, to your point, these are not combat squads that are going out.