Senators argue bill banning Ukrainian troops training in Oklahoma

Ukrainian troops arriving in Oklahoma are getting two different reactions.

The one from Sen. Nathan Dahm isn’t so welcoming.

“We don’t want Ukrainian soldiers training here in Oklahoma,” said Dahm.

Another, from Sen. Adam Pugh, is the exact opposite.

“This is a big deal,” said Pugh.

The troops will begin training on the patriot missile system at Fort Sill, taking the tools they learn to fight off the Russian military.

Dahm said he believes this plan is bad news for Oklahoma and will make the state a target.

He went as far as proposing legislation with Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 at the state capitol to prevent those troops from ever stepping foot in Oklahoma.

“Ukraine is not a NATO member,” Dahm argued. “We have a lot of foreign soldiers that do get trained here in Oklahoma but training foreign soldiers during an actual war is an escalation of that war.”

Dahm said it puts Oklahoma at risk for potential attacks.

Pugh didn’t agree.

“I reject the idea,” Pugh said.

Pugh and several other senate members pushed back against the legislation. Earlier last week they put out a joint statement in support of the training and the cause.

“Go, go back to what Ronald Reagan said, peace through strength,” Pugh said.

Pugh is a retired air force member and said the troops being here and the advanced training they will go through makes, not only their country safer, but makes Oklahoma safer.

“It is a big deal for our nation and our national security goals and the fact that we are helping partner nations train and defend themselves,” Pugh said. “Not only is it good for them and for the United States here and abroad.”

The troops will soon begin a multi-month-long training program before heading back to the battlefield in their home country.