Pentagon open to host F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots in the U.S.

Pentagon open to host F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots in the U.S.
Pentagon open to host F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots in the U.S.

The Biden administration is keen to host coaching on F-16 fighter jets in the US for Ukrainian pilots if further capability is required, the Pentagon advised CBS Information on Thursday. 

“The U.S. is ready to assist the coaching effort in coordination with the coalition, and is keen to host coaching for Ukrainian pilots throughout the U.S. if the capability of coaching is reached in Europe,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder stated in an announcement. 

Denmark and the Netherlands are leading a coalition of countries in training Ukrainian pilots on fighter jets, after President Biden gave the inexperienced mild in Might for European allies to offer coaching on F-16s. Since then, the U.S. has deferred to Denmark and the Netherlands on plans. 

Two U.S. officers advised CBS Information on Thursday that the Biden administration gave Denmark and the Netherlands assurances that the U.S. would expedite third-party switch requests of F-16s in order that Ukraine receives the jets as soon as coaching is full. 

A State Division spokesperson stated the intention is for Ukraine to take full benefit of its new capabilities as quickly as the primary set of pilots completes their coaching. 

The Pentagon has stated earlier than that the F-16s are supposed to assist Ukraine within the long-term, and that coaching led by the coalition was not meant to assist with Ukraine’s present counteroffensive. 

The Biden administration resisted calls for over a year from Ukraine for F-16s, saying air protection and ammunition have been extra wanted for the present combat. Finally, the administration overcame its reluctance simply because it did with different weapons, like Abrams tanks. 

Although the administration has now authorized coaching on the F-16s, it would nonetheless doubtless take a while for the jets to make a distinction for Ukraine. 

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, stated earlier this summer season that if the purpose was to match or surpass Russian airpower, it would take billions of {dollars} and important time. 

“That is going to take years to coach the pilots, years to do the upkeep and sustainment, years to generate that diploma of monetary assist to try this,” Milley said at a news conference in July. 

Olivia Gazis contributed reporting. 

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