Two Ukrainian pilots arrive at Tucson, Arizona military base to undergo F-16 “familiarization” training, reports CNN. The purpose of the training is to see how much time they would need to learn to fly various aircraft, including F-16.
According to an unnamed U.S. military official, “This event allows us to better help Ukrainian pilots become more effective pilots and better advise them on how to develop their own capabilities. The pilots will not be flying any platforms during this event but they will be using a simulator during portions of their visit.”
The official added that there were no new updates on supplying Ukraine with F-16s and no immediate plans to increase the number of Ukrainian pilots in the U.S.
Prior, U.S. President Joe Biden had dismissed Zelensky’s request on providing Ukraine with F-16 jets, saying “he doesn’t need F-16s now.” Biden also stated that the U.S. is sending what Ukraine needs at this time: “He (Zelensky) needs tanks, he needs artillery, he needs air defense, including another HIMAR(s).”
The U.S. aims at helping Ukraine “to be able to make gains this spring and this summer going into the fall.”