U.S. may provide training for Ukrainian F-16 jets pilots

Photo credit; US Air Force

Sources familiar with the matter have told CNN that the United States is collaborating with Ukrainian pilots to assess the time required to train them to operate F-16 fighter jets.

Currently, two Ukrainian pilots are stationed at a U.S. military base, undergoing flight simulation tests to determine the amount of time they would need to learn how to operate various U.S. military aircraft, including F-16 jets.

During a trip to the Middle East, a U.S. military official traveling with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin disclosed to reporters that the Ukrainian pilots were participating in a routine “familiarization event” in Tucson, Arizona, as part of the military-to-military discussions between the two nations.

“The familiarization event is essentially a discussion between the Air Force personnel and an observation of how the U.S. Air Force operates,” the official said.

“This event allows us to better help Ukrainian pilots become more effective pilots and better advise them on how to develop their own capabilities. The pilots will not be flying any platforms during this event but they will be using a simulator during portions of their visit.”

The official stated that there were no recent developments with regard to providing F-16 jets to Ukraine, and there are currently no plans to expand the number of Ukrainian pilots in the U.S.

Although there is currently no evidence of ongoing flight training, the fact that the U.S. is still collaborating with Ukrainian pilots implies that the possibility of providing F-16 planes has not been completely ruled out.

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