F-16 Training for Ukrainian Pilots to Begin in October in Tucson, Arizona - Pentagon
18:51 GMT 24.08.2023 (Updated: 20:17 GMT 24.08.2023)
© Photo : Twitter / USAF-AFAFRICAUS Air Force F-16C and F-16D fighters assigned with the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, arrive in Kallax, Sweden on 17 May to support the Arctic Challenge Exercise 21 drills.
© Photo : Twitter / USAF-AFAFRICA
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States will start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 aircraft in October after their English language training in September, Department of Defense spokeman Pat Ryder said on Thursday.
"The United States will soon begin training Ukrainians to fly and maintain F-16 fighter aircraft in support of the international effort to develop and strengthen Ukraine's long-term defenses," Ryder stated. "Following English language training for pilots in September, F- 16 flying training is expected to begin in October at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, Arizona, facilitated by the Air National Guard's 100 and 62nd wing."
Ryder clarified that the department is anticipating all pilots coming to the United States will require some level of additional English language instruction required to fly the aircraft.
"We will remain in close consultation with the Danes, the Dutch and other allies to ensure us training complements the broader coalition training," the spokesman added.
Denmark and the Netherlands will start the transfer of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine within the upcoming months, not weeks following the appropriate training of pilots in the United States, Ryder stressed.
“I don't want to speculate on when F-16 aircraft will be delivered other than you've heard us say that when training is complete, the Europeans are looking to provide F-16 aircraft and the United States will support that effort through the third-party transfer process. So, we are talking months, not weeks, obviously,” the spokesman emphasized.
Europeans looking to provide F-16s to Ukraine when training is complete, will take months not weeks, Ryder highlighted.
The spokesman noted that Ukraine does not have the necessary infrastructure for F-16s right now.
27 April, 05:40 GMT