2 Ukrainian pilots get training on fighter jets in US

NEW YORK – Two Ukrainian pilots are training in the US on fighter jets including the F-16, Anadolu has learned.

“Two Ukrainian pilots are currently in Tucson for a familiarization event for US and Ukrainian pilots. It is a routine activity as part of our military-to-military dialogue with Ukraine,” according to a statement that a senior US military official sent to Anadolu.

The official said the event allows them to better help Ukrainian pilots become more effective pilots, and better advise Ukrainian pilots on how to develop their own capabilities.

The pilots will not be flying any platforms during this event, but will be using a simulator during portions of their visit, the official added.

Noting that this is the first time they conducted such an event with Ukrainian pilots, the official said: “It is similar to events we’ve held with other countries under a pre-approved EUCOM program with security cooperation funding under a COCOM authority (i.e., not USAI or PDA).”

There are no immediate plans to increase the number of pilots beyond the two currently in Tucson, but we’re not closing the door on future opportunities, the official said.

The official added that there were no updates if the US will provide F-16’s to Ukraine.

After securing battle tanks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked the West for fighter jets to defend its skies against Russian attacks.

* Writing by Seda Sevencan

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