An F-16 training base that will teach Ukrainian pilots opened Monday in Romania. The school is at a Romanian air force base in Fetesti. Romania’s defense ministry said the facility will train pilots from Ukraine and “other partners” but didn’t specify who those other pilots might be. Most NATO countries are parking their fourth-generation fighters and upgrading to F-35s, including Romania. The aircraft to be used in Romania are being donated by the Royal Netherlands Air Force, which has already equipped with the F-35.
The U.S. has a major stake in the school. Lockheed Martin is supplying the instructors and maintenance for the Dutch aircraft. Kathleen Kavalec, the U.S. ambassador to Romania, said the facility is an “example of how the public and private sectors can cooperate to further our defense priorities.” She said the U.S. is committed to the initiative. “I am here with one simple message,” she said. “The United States government is here to support in any way we can.”