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CNN: US says it will start F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots in October after language classes in September

The US says it will start training Ukrainian pilots and ground crews to fly and maintain F-16 fighter jets in October after English language training in September.
Norwegian F-16. Photo: Norwegian Air Force
CNN: US says it will start F-16 training for Ukrainian pilots in October after language classes in September

The US has announced that it will start training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jets in October, CNN reports.

“Following English language training for pilots in September, F-16 flying training is expected to begin in October at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, Arizona, facilitated by the Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing,” Pentagon Spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said at a press briefing on 24 August.

Ryder says he doesn’t have specific numbers to share regarding how many pilots will be trained, but we do anticipate it will include several pilots and dozens of maintainers.”

Earlier The New York Times reported referring to unnamed officials that the US would start training the Ukrainian pilots in September starting with language classes and followed by piloting training. However, the NYT sources did not specify if the US would train a new group of pilots and some of those destined for European F-16 training.

CNN says that Ukraine put forward a list of about 32 pilots ready to begin training on F-16s, according to another US official, but “most did not have a strong enough command of the English language yet, a necessary requirement since the jet’s instrumentation and manuals are all in English.”

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