U.S. To Train Ukrainian Pilots At Arizona Air Base
The Pentagon announced on Thursday that the U.S. will begin training Ukrainian pilots to fly U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, at an Air National Guard base in Tucson, Arizona in October.
The training is part of a combined U.S. and European effort to assist Ukraine in their defense against invading Russian forces.
The training is scheduled to take place at Morris Air National Guard base in Tucson, Arizona. The pilots will initially undergo English tutoring at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, so they have a solid fluency needed to operate the aircraft.
This effort is seen as long-term support to Ukraine, not about the counteroffensive that the country is in the middle of currently.
Ukraine has been at the mercy to the U.S. asking for the American fighter jets to help defend their cities and assist their forces from Russian attacks. Recently, Denmark, the Netherlands recently agreed to supply the aircraft to Ukraine.
The U.S. got on board to unite with European allies in the training to avoid holdups in preparing Ukrainian pilots.
The U.S. training will accommodate several Ukrainian fighter pilots, along with dozens of maintenance people for the aircraft.
For skilled pilots, the training is expected to last approximately five months. The training course plan consists of review of the basics to flying the advanced craft, formation flying, operating weapons, air combat. In addition, pilots will go through a series of centrifuge training on the ground to prepare pilots for withstanding the g-forces of an F-16 cockpit.