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Poland ready to join F-16 training programme for Ukrainian pilots

Grzegorz Michałowski/PAP

After Thursday’s online meeting of the Contact Group for the Defence of Ukraine, Pentagon Head Lloyd Austin said that Poland is among a group of countries willing to help train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

Austin said that over the coming weeks the US together with Denmark and the Netherlands would put in place a common framework for training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 multirole fighter aircraft.

He added that Poland, along with Norway, Belgium and Portugal, had already volunteered to help with the initiative.

“At today’s meeting, several allies and partners discussed plans to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighters, including the F-16,” Austin said after a meeting with ministers from 50 countries supporting Ukraine.

“The commencement of training work on the F-16 is an important example of our long-term commitment to Ukraine’s security,” said Austin.

On Tuesday, Poland’s Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said in Brussels that Poland is ready to start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 combat aircraft.

“I proposed that this type of training should be included in the EU training mission that is being conducted in Poland,” Błaszczak said and added that “it is a tool that will allow to reimburse the costs incurred during training of Ukrainian soldiers.”

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