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Ten Ukrainian soldiers complete F-16 maintenance training in Netherlands

The Dutch Ministry of Defense reported that 10 Ukrainian military personnel completed F-16 maintenance training. Earlier, the Netherlands pledged 24 F-16s to Ukraine.
The Netherlands’ F-16. Credit:
Ten Ukrainian soldiers complete F-16 maintenance training in Netherlands

On 21 May, the Dutch Ministry of Defense reported that 10 Ukrainian military personnel completed training in the Netherlands for F-16 maintenance, with the Netherlands pledging at least 24 F-16s to Ukraine that require maintenance.

Ukraine has sought US-made F-16 fighter jets for over two years to bolster its air defenses and counter Russia’s air superiority during the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war. The United States approved the transfer of F-16s from Denmark and the Netherlands last August, pending completion of pilot training. Training of Ukrainian pilots and ground personnel is ongoing, and Ukraine has yet to operate any F-16s.

According to the Ministry, the Ukrainian military trained in maintaining critical components for fighter pilots, such as helmets, oxygen systems, and onboard parachutes, as well as the composition and inspection of survival packs, which include food and medicine to sustain pilots after an emergency landing.

“Through their training, the trainees are prepared for all possible risks of an F-16 mission. As a result, eventually Ukrainian pilots will also be better protected,” the Dutch Defense Ministry wrote.

The training program was set up by the Flight Safety Equipment cluster (VVU).

F-16 pilots actually put their lives in the hands of the military, who maintain the aircraft. The moment they take off, they know they can rely on the knowledge and skill of these people and the aircraft is in working order,” a “concerned employee” emphasized the importance of the training, according to the Ministry.

The Netherlands is also a co-initiator of the European F-16 Training Center (EFTC) in Romania, with 11 Dutch F-16s made available to the EFTC.

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