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Ukrainian Pilots Plan to Commence F-16 Training in Arizona Next Week

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F-16 multirole aircraft / Illustrative photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense
F-16 multirole aircraft / Illustrative photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense

Initially, the pilots will study the fundamentals of operating the F-16 in the classroom and on simulators, and then they will progress to real flight training, as is typical for any Air Force pilot training program. However, the course may be expedited due to the urgent need to return them to the battlefield

Ukrainian pilots will commence F-16 fighter aircraft training at an Air National Guard base in Tuscon, Ariz., next week, according to four U.S. officials.

This information is reported by Politico.

Read more: Ukrainian Air Force Gives Update on Pilots' F-16 Training

The group of Ukrainian pilots took part in an English language learning program at the Defense Language Institute English Language Center at Lackland, said Air Force spokesperson Rose Riley.

"Testing will determine their next courses and when the pilots would be able to commence F-16 training. Training location options are still being considered at this time," she said.

F-16, Defense Express
F-16 / Illustrative photo credit: U.S. Air Force

According to the publication: "President Joe Biden finally approved an international effort to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s in May, but the coalition took months to straighten out the details of the program. Initially, officials said the pilots and maintainers would train in Europe; the Pentagon announced last month that some of the training would take place in the U.S."

a pilot inside the F-16 cockpit, Defense Express
Illustrative photo: a pilot inside the F-16 cockpit / Photo credit: U.S. Department of Defense

As a reminder, on September 28th, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh reported that Ukrainian pilots arrived at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to start an English language course. However, she did not specify when they will proceed to the piloting program itself at the 162nd Air Wing, Morris Air National Guard Base, Arizona.

Defense Express reported earlier that The First Group of Ukrainian Pilots, Engineers Has Left for F-16 Training. We also wrote, that Ukrainian pilots didn't waste time and started 'piloting' F-16 aircraft in Ukraine.

"They are already flying the flight simulation devices – this is not a [PC] simulator but a full-fledged aircraft: a moving cockpit totally resembling the F-16 cockpit. The next phase is real flights with a flight instructor," Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson of the Air Force of Ukraine said.

the F-16 course
Thanks to this preliminary training, it will be easier for pilots to continue the F-16 course in European countries or in the USA / Still image credit: Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Earlier, The Netherlands Was Giving All its F-16s to Ukraine while the Country Would Also Get 19 F-16 Fighter Jets From Denmark and Third Donor of F-16s to Ukraine is Norway. As experts say, as US starting training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 Ukraine would likely to get the aircraft from the USA too.

Read more: What Simulators Ukrainians Use to Train with Javelin, Stinger, and Even Polish Piorun Combat Application