Training for Ukraine F-16 Pilots to Start in August

An 11-nation coalition will start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets in August in Denmark, officials said Tuesday at a summit of NATO leaders in Vilnius.

Kyiv has been calling on its Western backers to send modern fighter jets to help fight Russia’s invading forces.

The Netherlands and Denmark are spearheading an initial plan to train the pilots after the US — which has to give clearance for the American-made jets to be used — authorized the move.

Denmark’s defense minister Troels Lund Poulsen said training would start in his country in August.

“Hopefully, we will be able to see results in the beginning of next year,” he said.

Ukraine’s defense minister Oleksiy Reznikov hailed the move and said he hoped to see pilots ready to fly in six months.

His Dutch counterpart Kajsa Ollongren said that the allies would establish a center to train pilots in Romania over the longer term.

Washington has still not given the go-ahead for any country to supply the jets to Ukraine.

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