U.S. Endorses F-16 Training For Ukrainian Pilots


The U.S. government has changed its stance and will support the training of Ukrainian pilots on the F-16. That could lead to the U.S. giving European countries permission to transfer their surplus Vipers to Ukraine. According to Politico, this could be the first of such arrangements and other Western aircraft might be considered for transfer to Ukraine, but the types were not announced.

As a practical matter, the F-16 is a prominent first choice because Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands all have surplus aircraft since taking delivery of F-35s. There have been no applications by any of those countries to the U.S. to donate them to Ukraine. As a condition of buying U.S.-made military hardware, the U.S. must sign off on any plan to transfer it to other countries. After Friday’s announcement, Dutch Defense Minister Kahsa Ollengren said her country is ready to get the training program going.

Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky did a victory lap around the G-7 meeting where he was invited as an observer. “This will greatly enhance our army in the sky,” Zelensky tweeted. “I count on discussing the practical implementation of this decision at the #G7 summit in Hiroshima.” Earlier this year, the U.S. Air Force evaluated the skills of two Ukrainian fighter pilots at an Air National Guard F-16 base in Arizona. It will take several months at least to get the pilots trained and, if the donations are approved, the aircraft will have to be put in flying shape before they see action in Ukraine.

Other AVwebflash Articles


        • You might ask what it takes to remember
          When you know that you’ve seen it before
          Where a government lies to a people
          And a country is drifting to war
          There’s a shadow on the faces
          Of the men who send the guns
          To the wars that are fought in places
          Where their business interest runs

      • Sentiments of the USSR? move on, Russia and Putin are not the USSR anymore. Get off the borders of the U.S. and you will see what is going on with the entire world. Russia will not lose this war for nothing. Few people understand that. Watch out.

        Democracy? What democracy are you talking about? the one hussein obama installed in Ukraine in 2008? Democracy in the U.S. that became a banana republic? tyrannical government, tyrannical FBI bullying parents in school. “Free speech” determined by Facebook collusion with the government? Democracy in America is gone and this nonsense here is being exported to the “NATO” (The U.S. abroad) countries. BRICS will determine what “Democracy” will be in the entire world. This administration is digging so much hate against the U.S. that the damage will be irreparable for years to come. They are saying no to the biggest BULLY in the world. It will be interesting to see F-16’s be beaten up by the Russians just like the missile Patriot being destroyed by the Kinzhal supersonic missile. Russia has been preparing for this war for about 10 years. They are a stockpile of everything ready for war. What does the U.S. have? Arrogance and few armaments for one week of war. “We will go to war with Russia and China at the same time” WOW! Really? Maybe that’s the HUMILIATION American leaders and part of this society needs to go to become humble and accept the fact that Democracy has a completely different significance. That’s the price “people” pay for being ignorant.

    • Whether the Ukraine conflict is our war or not is at least debatable. One could argue that our interests most certainly do not stop at our borders, and haven’t since shortly after the American Revolution. It is also interesting and very useful to us Americans to observe how effective our military tools are and how clearly less effective are the military tools and organization of Russia.

      Authoritarianism has obvious disadvantages. It breeds corruption (remember the saying that power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts?). Rule by fear means that the ruler (or rulers) are not likely to be informed of the truth, but rather by what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. It seems fashionable in some circles in the US to think of democracy as “outdated.” If you value “freedom” that is a dangerous viewpoint. Be careful of what you wish for – you might just get it.

      In short, European problems ARE our problems – we live in an interdependent world, whether we like it or not. Russia switched from Communism to Fascism – and there is little difference between the two in a practical sense. Putin is a would-be Hitler and has delusions that the destiny of Russia is to lead the world. That is simply not going to happen. Nor will they “win” in Ukraine. Russia is currently being humiliated as a result of their stupidity. That is to the advantage of the rest of the world. If it is not Ukraine, it will be somewhere else to bring matters to a head.

  1. BS. I have heard that line since Vietnam. This is a European problem, they need to deal with it. We are only there because the Ukrainians likely have something on Biden, and the military contractors need to fill the void from the last 20 years of war.

    • European problem that never was. US started the mess. We, Europeans, already have a problem with the refugees from Middle East and beyond, the problem US caused. We always have to clear somebody else’s mess.

      • No, the Middle East problem started with the “Paris Peace Conference of 1919” when France and England chopped up the Middle East in their own interest and made a total mess of it which the US has had to deal with since then. And speaking of European messes let’s see, WW1, WW2, Stalin gives Kim tanks to invade South Korea and of course let’n not forget the French in Indochina. Igor, you need to crack a book.
        All of these messes were not started by the US but by Europe.

          • With aid from the Western nations. Even Stalin and Zhukov admitted that the USSR could not have continued the war against Germany without Lend-Lease.

          • The USSR mostly supplied cannon fodder in the fight against the Nazis. The US supplied munitions and food for the soviets. After the war Europe was a mess and the Marshall plan did much to rebuild the mess that Europe made. Also the USSR had the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

    • “We are only there because the Ukrainians likely have something on Biden”

      So then, Putin is saving Biden’s bacon.

      Want to question a few Burisma employees? Can’t. They are dead or fleeing for their lives. Want to peruse a few Burisma documents? Can’t. Those documents have been destroyed in an artillery attack. Want to see what’s on a few Burisma servers? Can’t. The buildings that hold those servers have been bombed out.

      Putin has done Uncle Joe a favor.

  2. Like it or not, were at war with Russia. Were supplying the other side and Russian lives are being lost due to our “help”. At least that’s how the Russians see it. The only question is…how deep will we get involved?

  3. If I’m not mistaken, the US entered Vietnam, taking over where France left off. The cold war ethos based on the Domino Theory led Lyndon Johnson to buildup military support after ‘advisors’ were unsuccessfully used to train and help the fledgling South Vietnamese Army. A costly police action resulting in reunification of the country to communist rule. Continuing, supporting South Korea was less costly and ended in a truce. US involvement in Iraq was based on false evidence; Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction that was never found and triggered by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. We supplied Afghanistan with weapons for use against Russia in Russia’s version of Vietnam, attempting to takeover Afghanistan and losing. No US boots on the ground back then. US involvement in Iraq, based on 9-11-01; hunting down Osama bin Laden then leaving. Involvement in Afghanistan was a failed attempt at installing a democratic government. Lessons learned from Vietnam, South Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan in a changing geopolitical world led to the US/NATO coalition of supplying Ukraine with military weapons and training to use them. Zero US/NATO boots in Ukraine. More than a year gone by without US/NATO boots on the ground in Ukraine. It’s David versus Goliath, not WWIII and hopefully remain so until hostilities cease. Eventually, supplying F-16s and training Ukrainian pilots maintains the weapons pipeline.

  4. AVweb is a wonderful thing and is due great credit for allowing even the looniest among us to post their bizarre comments. I will not name names because I am laughing too hard at some of the nonsense I’ve just read – certain people are not even remotely aware of how dumb they sound. God bless America.