Lankford, Russell Return from Visit with Oklahoma’s 45th Infantry in Ukraine

U.S. Senator James Lankford and Congressman Steve Russell spent Veterans’ Day weekend checking on the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade in Ukraine. They also visited Belgium to evaluate a key anti-terrorism intelligence program in the region.

The 45th Infantry Brigade has been in the Ukraine for the past year to train security forces there.

“The men and women of the Oklahoma Army National Guard continue to set the standard and provide invaluable assistance to the Ukrainian military,” said Lankford. “I can think of no better way to spend Veterans Day weekend than to spend it with the members of the 45th. Our fellow Oklahomans are helping the people of Ukraine defend themselves from Russian occupation. The people of Ukraine are incredibly grateful and the families of the 45th and all of our state should be incredibly proud.”

“We are thankful to our Oklahoma National Guardsmen who serve around the globe making our world safer. It was an honor to visit them with Senator Lankford. Our efforts in Ukraine are vital to the defense of eastern Europe and the security of the entire region. We look forward for when the 45th’s 279th Infantry comes home later this year,” said Russell.

Lankford and Russell also met with NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, NATO senior leaders and members of the Ukrainian Parliamentary leadership to discuss Russian activity in the area which has led to regional instability. It is part of the fact-finding mission with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee work continues to occupy a great deal of my time and attention. We face threats every day, but we also have men and women serving around the globe each day to keep us safe. It is essential to give them an opportunity to discuss their needs and the work they do so we can support their work and oversee the mission,” said Lankford.

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