The U.S. Will Train Ukrainian F-16 Pilots And Maintainers | Aviation


File photo of an F-16 assigned to the 162nd Wing, Morris Air National Guard Base, Tucson, Ariz., during a training mission last year. Morris ANG Base is home to the Air National Guard’s premier F-16 fighter pilot training unit, the 162nd Wing. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Hampton E. Stramler)

Training will begin in October at Morris Air National Guard Base and will be delivered by the 162nd Wing, which is in charge of training of international F-16 crews.

The Department of Defense announced that the United States will train Ukrainians to fly and maintain F-16 fighters in support of the international effort to develop and strengthen Ukraine’s long-term defenses. “Several pilots and dozens of maintainers” will begin training in October at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, Arizona, facilitated by the Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing.

“The training provided by the United States will complement the F-16 pilot and maintenance training that’s already underway in Europe and further deepens our support of the F-16 training coalition led by Denmark and the Netherlands,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said. “Moving forward we will remain in close consultation with the Danes, the Dutch and other allies to ensure U.S. training complements the broader coalition training efforts.”

Gen. Ryder also added that by announcing the training, the U.S. is preempting any training capacity constraints in Denmark and the Netherlands’ training pipeline to ensure the aircraft are fielded to Ukraine as quickly as possible. In fact, the total number of pilots and maintainers to be trained is not yet known and it will be determined by Ukraine, added Gen. Ryder.

Prior to flight training, the pilots will receive language training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas beginning in September. Gen. Ryder said that, although some Ukrainian pilots have English language skills, they will require some level of…

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