U.S. has funds to continue training Ukrainians on F-16s - National Guard Chief Hokanson
The United States now has enough money to continue training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets
AP reported the information, citing the head of the US National Guard Daniel Hokanson.
"The lack of funding has meant the U.S. has not been able to send any new weapons packages to Ukraine despite a brutal bombardment campaign by Russia. But the pilot training has been able to continue," Hokanson said.
According to him, the United States has the resources and capabilities to continue the training that has already begun.
"If we decide to increase that obviously we’ll need the resources to train additional pilots and ground support personnel," he added.
F-16 fighters for Ukraine: what is known
On May 21, US President Joe Biden approved the training of Ukrainians on F-16s. Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured that Ukraine would not use these aircraft to strike at Russian territory.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that the first F-16 fighter jets are likely to fly in Ukraine's skies by the end of March 2024.
On August 17, the United States approved the shipment of F-16 multi-role fighters to Ukraine.
At the same time, Denmark said it would supply Ukraine with the aircraft if they were not used in Russia.
The Netherlands will provide 42 fighter jets. At the same time, Norway will provide Ukraine with F-16s, but the exact number is unknown.
On September 15, Belgium joined the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16s. Earlier, the Belgian Defense Ministry said it would not provide Ukraine with F-16 fighters because they are outdated and in poor condition. Such aircraft are dangerous to operate.
On October 11, Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said that the country would be able to deliver the first F-16s to Ukraine in March-April 2024.
On October 12, the media reported that the Netherlands would send F-16s to Romania, where Ukrainian pilots would begin training in a few weeks.
On October 26, Ukrainian pilots began flight training on F-16s at an air base in Arizona, USA.
On November 1, the Pentagon said that the training in Arizona could last from 5 to 9 months.
In early January 2024, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said that Ukrainian pilots would complete training on F-16 fighter jets this year.