The United States is set to commence an F-16 training program for Ukrainian pilots, starting this October at an Air National Guard base in Arizona, according to an announcement made by the Pentagon on Thursday.
U.S. Launches F-16 Training Program for Ukrainian Pilots
This F-16 training program for Ukrainian pilots is a significant component of the collaborative effort between the United States and European nations to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities in the face of escalating tensions with Russian forces, a published article reported.
The announcement of the F-16 training program for Ukrainian pilots coincided with President Joe Biden‘s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, marking Ukraine’s Independence Day. During this conversation, President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s defense efforts, including the F-16 training initiative.
In a statement issued by the White House, it was revealed that the two leaders discussed the F-16 training program for Ukrainian pilots, with President Biden assuring President Zelenskyy of a streamlined approval process for other countries to transfer their F-16 aircraft to Ukraine upon the successful completion of the training.
In response to these developments, President Zelenskyy expressed his gratitude to President Biden, the U.S. Congress, and the American people via a post on the social media platform, X (formerly Twitter).
F-16 Training Program for Ukrainian Pilots
The tF-16 training program for Ukrainian pilots is scheduled to take place at the Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, Arizona. Ukrainian pilots will first undergo English language instruction at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, starting next month.
This preparatory phase is essential to ensure they reach the required level of fluency needed to operate the aircraft effectively.
According to a published article, for experienced pilots, the F-16 training program for Ukrainian pilots typically spans around five months and encompasses a wide range of subjects, including basic flight skills, formation flying, weapon systems operation, air combat tactics, and the operation of air defense suppression systems.
The F-16 training program for Ukrainian pilots schedule is set to begin in September, with English-language instruction, and full-flight training is expected to commence in October, emphasizing fundamental fighter pilot training.
The specific curriculum for Ukrainian pilots will be tailored to their individual experience levels, with an initial assessment forming part of the F-16 training program for Ukrainian pilots.
Although no specific timeline has been provided for the delivery of F-16s to Ukraine, General Ryder hinted that it could be in the coming months.