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At front, U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov attend the Ukrainian Defense Consultative Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, April 26, 2022. More than 40 nations gathered at the base to discuss security issues. Ramstein will host another consultative group meeting Sept. 8.

At front, U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov attend the Ukrainian Defense Consultative Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, April 26, 2022. More than 40 nations gathered at the base to discuss security issues. Ramstein will host another consultative group meeting Sept. 8. (Alexander Riedel/Stars and Stripes)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Ramstein Air Base will host its second Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting next week, Air Force officials said Monday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has invited defense leaders and senior military officials from around the world to discuss the crisis in Ukraine and various security issues facing U.S. allies and partners, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa said in a statement.

Defense leaders from more than 40 nations attended the first gathering at Ramstein in April, about two months after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the group has held three more meetings. The last one was held virtually from the Pentagon in July.

Plans for the Sept. 8 Ramstein meeting come amid concerns that fighting near a Ukrainian nuclear power plant could trigger a radiation catastrophe.

Russian forces have occupied the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s largest nuclear facility, since the early days of the war.

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin answers questions at the Ukraine Defense Consultative Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, April 26, 2022. Austin said the conference was the beginning of recurring engagements to help coordinate more efficient aid deliveries to Ukraine. Ramstein will host another consultative group meeting Sept. 8.

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin answers questions at the Ukraine Defense Consultative Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, April 26, 2022. Austin said the conference was the beginning of recurring engagements to help coordinate more efficient aid deliveries to Ukraine. Ramstein will host another consultative group meeting Sept. 8. (Alexander Riedel/Stars and Stripes)

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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