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Pentagon: English language training for Ukrainian F-16 pilots begins in US

by Kateryna Ilnytska September 29, 2023 6:40 AM 1 min read
An F-16 performs during the Air Show in Radom, Poland on August 26, 2023. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The U.S. Department of Defense has officially confirmed the beginning of English language classes as part of the program to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets.

"English language training for several pilots has begun," said Pentagon Deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh. She added that the length of the courses will depend on the existing competencies of the Ukrainian soldiers.

Singh also acknowledged that the potential U.S. government "shutdown" on Oct. 1 might have an impact on Ukrainian pilots' language training. This concerns civilian personnel engaged in training, who will be unable to carry out their duties due to the suspension of budgetary funding.

Pentagon Press Secretary General Patrick Ryder General Patrick Ryder said at the end of August that the U.S. would start instructing Ukrainian pilots and mechanics on F-16 aircraft in October at the Morris Air National Guard Base in Arizona.

Prior to that, the Ukrainian military must complete English language training at the Lackland Air Force in Texas.

Dutch minister: Netherlands to deliver first F-16 jets to Ukraine in 2024
The minister estimated that the training of Ukrainian pilots on the fourth-generation jets could take six to eight months, which is a shorter period than the usual training of Dutch pilots.
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