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US evaluates Ukrainian pilots for possible F-16 training

Tuesday, 7 March 2023, 02:55
US evaluates Ukrainian pilots for possible F-16 training

A US Air Force base in Arizona has been testing Ukrainian pilots' skills for possible training on F-16 fighter jets.

Source: CNN

Quote: "Two Ukrainian pilots are currently at a military base in the US having their skills tested in flight simulators to see how much time they would need to learn to fly various US military aircraft, including F-16s."

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Details: A US military official told CNN that the Ukrainian pilots were in Tucson, Arizona, for a familiarisation event as part of dialogue between the Ukrainian and American military.

"The familiarisation event is essentially a discussion between the Air Force personnel and an observation of how the US Air Force operates," the official said.

CNN noted that while there is no indication at this time that flight training is underway, the step suggests the US has not completely closed the door on providing F-16s.

CNN reported that the evaluation of the Ukrainian pilots is being conducted by the 162nd Fighter Wing, part of the Arizona Air National Guard, which specialises in training on F-16 fighter jets.

One of the officials told CNN that 10 more Ukrainian pilots may come to the US for the same evaluation and assessment.

Background:

  • On 6 March, Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, reported that two Ukrainian pilots had left for the United States to analyse the skills and needs of a potential training base for operating modern aircraft.
  • Earlier, the US House Committee on Armed Services determined that the possibility of sending F-16 fighters to Ukraine "is not a wise use of the resources that are necessary to win the fight".

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