Biden approves training of Ukrainian pilots for F-16 fighter jets

Credit: Lukasz Golowanow & Maciek Hyps / Wikimedia Commons

In a press briefing on August 8, 2023, Sabrina Singh, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary, confirmed that US President Joe Biden has approved the training of Ukrainian pilots on US-made F-16 fighter jets. 

According to Singh, “Denmark and the Netherlands are taking the lead on training,” while the US will provide support moving forward.  

“I just don’t have any further updates at this time when it comes to specific pilots being trained,” Singh added. 

A report by Politico on August 4, 2023, citing anonymous US sources, revealed that the first batch of Ukrainian pilots for F-16 training has been identified.  

“Eight Ukrainian pilots who are fluent in English are ready to begin training on the fighter jet as soon as a formal training plan is drawn up by a handful of European allies and approved by the United States,” Politico wrote. 

Additionally, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed in a Facebook post on August 2, 2023, that “F-16 training of our pilots will begin this month”. 

“The supply and combat use of F-16 by our pilots should take place as soon as possible,” he added. 

In July 2023, the White House has promised that European nations will be allowed to begin F-16 training for Ukrainian personnel, yet an official approval was needed for the transfer of essential F-16 training materials, including manuals and simulators.  

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