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Dutch Defense Ministry: F-16 jets en route to training center in Romania

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 7, 2023 4:03 PM 1 min read
Dutch Air Force F-16 fighter jets take part in a NATO exercise as part of the NATO Air Policing mission on July 4, 2023. (John Thys/AFP via Getty Images)
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Five F-16 fighter jets are on their way to a training center for Ukrainian pilots in Romania, the Dutch Defense Ministry announced on Nov. 7.

The Netherlands would provide 12-18 F-16s for training purposes, but the jets will remain Dutch property and will only be flown in NATO territory, the statement said.

The ceremonial opening of the training center is forthcoming.

The announcement comes after Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Oct. 30 that the F-16s would arrive at the training site in two weeks.

The training of Ukrainian pilots began in Denmark this August in partnership with other nations of the "fighter jet coalition." Washington later announced that it would launch its own training sessions for Ukrainian aviators in October.

The training coalition was originally formed in July with the purpose of using resources and facilities from Ukraine's allies to help train Ukrainian pilots.

Although the pace of F-16 procurement and training has picked up, it's estimated that the first Ukrainian pilots to undergo F-16 jet fighter training will not be ready to fly them until summer 2024.

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