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Official: US to let European countries train Ukrainian pilots on F-16s

by Alexander Khrebet July 17, 2023 12:36 AM 1 min read
Portuguese Air Force F-16 fighter jets during NATO's Baltic Air Policing Mission in Lithuanian airspace near Siauliai on May 23, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)
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The U.S. will allow European countries to launch much-anticipated training for the Ukrainian pilots to use F-16 fighter jets after reports that Europe was awaiting formal approval, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN.

“The president has given a green light, and we will allow, permit, support, facilitate and in fact provide the necessary tools for Ukrainians to begin being trained on F-16s as soon as the Europeans are prepared,” Sullivan said, providing no timeframe for when the training will begin.

European leaders have said they need several weeks to prepare training abilities, said Sullivan.

“The U.S. will not be the hold up in ensuring that this F-16 training can get underway,” he said.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced on July 11 that the “fighter jet coalition” had been officially formed during a NATO summit in Vilnius.

Meanwhile, Sullivan also said the U.S. is running low on stockpile ammunition as it helps Ukraine to defend itself from the Russian invasion.

“President Biden ordered his Pentagon to work rapidly to scale up the ability of the United States to produce all the ammunition we could ever need for any conflict at any time,” Sullivan said.

Read also: Ukraine war latest: G7 agrees on long-term security commitment for Ukraine

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