U.S.: “Green light” for F-16 fighter jet training

The Pentagon has officially announced that F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots has been approved by President Biden. This was announced by The Kyiv Independent.

On August 8, Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, officially confirmed that U.S. President Joe Biden had given the go-ahead for training Ukrainian pilots in the use of F-16 fighter jets. She stated that Denmark and the Netherlands would assume primary responsibility for conducting the training. Additionally, she stressed that no further information on specific pilot training is currently available.

A Politico report on Aug. 4, citing unnamed U.S. sources, already revealed the first group of Ukrainian pilots slated for F-16 training. Eight Ukrainian pilots fluent in English are ready to begin training on the fighter jets as soon as formal training plans are drawn up by European partners and signed off by the United States.

Furthermore, 20 more pilots with limited English skills are ready to start a language course in the UK within a month. A total of 32 Ukrainian pilots have been designated to potentially participate in this training program, with the challenge of English language proficiency remaining.

The previous month, the U.S. had announced it would allow European countries to train Ukrainian pilots to operate F-16 fighter jets – a potential boost to Ukraine’s efforts to counter Russian air superiority. In May, President Biden had told the leaders of the G7 nations that the United States would work with allies and partners to train Ukrainian pilots to operate fourth-generation aircraft, including the F-16. However, it was unclear at the time when this training would specifically begin.

Image: Steve Lynes from Sandshurst, United Kingdom, EGVA – General Dynamics F-16AM Fighting Falcon – Royal Danish Air Force – 687 (48392974512), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons, (no changes made)

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