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First group of Ukrainian pilots passes F-16 training in US

by Martin Fornusek May 24, 2024 8:33 AM 1 min read
F-16 fighters durning military parade in Warsaw on the day of the Polish army on Aug. 15, 2018, Warsaw, Poland. (Krystian Dobuszynski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The first batch of Ukrainian pilots graduated from the F-16 training program in Arizona, a spokesperson of the U.S. Air National Guard, Erin Hannigan, told Politico in a comment published on May 23.

Ukraine is bound to receive dozens of American-made fourth-generation fighter jets from the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Norway. Several countries, including the U.S., pledged to assist Ukrainian aviators with the necessary training under the fighter jet coalition framework.

Hannigan did not disclose the number of the first graduates or the exact date of graduation "out of an abundance of caution for their safety."

The aviators will now move to Europe for additional training, Politico wrote, citing an undisclosed source.

First Ukrainian pilots began their training at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, Arizona, last October. The lessons are facilitated by the Air National Guard's 162nd Wing.

Other pilots are receiving training in Denmark, and Romania also opened an F-16 training facility for Ukrainian aviators.

Earlier this week, the Dutch Defense Ministry announced that the first 10 Ukrainian military personnel completed F-16 maintenance training in the Netherlands.

F-16s for Ukraine: When will they arrive and what can they do?
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is an American air superiority fighter that Kyiv has begged for since the start of the full-scale invasion and is expected to finally start receiving this year. It’s a versatile workhorse of a jet that’s fought in dozens of wars and is
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