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Pentagon: Government shutdown to affect F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 28, 2023 11:11 PM 1 min read
U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets fly in formation during U.S.-Philippines joint air force exercises dubbed Cope Thunder at Clark Air Base on May 9, 2023, in Mabalacat, Philippines. (Photo credit: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)
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The expected U.S. government shutdown would affect the training program for Ukrainian pilots and other personnel on F-16 fighter jets, European Pravda reported on Sept. 28, citing Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh.

The official reportedly said during a press briefing that a "shutdown is the worst scenario that can happen to the (Defense) Department" regarding the training of Ukrainian crews on F-16s.

While military personnel continue to perform their duties even during the shutdown, civilian workers are usually furloughed for that period, Singh explained.

Disputes about future spending, both within the Republican Party and across party lines, have prevented an agreement that will continue to fund the government before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2023.

If no bills are passed, the federal government will effectively "shut down," with an exemption for matters of national security.

The U.S. State Department said earlier this week that the flow of military aid for Ukraine will continue even during the shutdown. The department's spokesperson, Mathew Miller, warned however that the situation may affect the pace of the deliveries.

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