BREAKING: Ukrainian pilots to start training on F-16s in August

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said NATO allies are set to partner with Ukraine on F-16 aircraft training missions beginning in August. Biden said in December 2022 that the US would not send F-16s, but recently authorized allies to send them instead. 

The Ukrainian said he "Met with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte @MinPres. I am grateful for the leadership of the Netherlands in making key decisions of the Allies in support of Ukraine, in particular on the creation of an aviation coalition. We agreed to start a training mission for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 aircraft in August this year. We discussed the prospects for attracting new partners to the fighter jet coalition and strengthening Ukraine's air defense. Thank you, Netherlands!"

The revelation comes after Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that the group's Membership Action Plan for Ukraine will be reduced from a two-step process to a single-step process, though admittance is reportedly not imminent.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) published a statement on Tuesday, saying the "secretary general said the allies have agreed to a three-element package that will bring Ukraine closer to NATO."

Consequently, the leaders agreed on a multi-year assistance program for Ukraine that will apparently help "speed up the transition from Soviet-era doctrines and equipment to NATO standards. The nation was well on its way to ditching the Soviet-era training and equipment even before the second Russian invasion."

Stoltenberg said that the new package will "help rebuild Ukraine's security and defense sector, and to cover critical needs like fuel, demining equipment and medical supplies."

The statement concluded by noting NATO leaders affirmed that Ukraine would become part of the group, and that they planned to remove the requirement for a Membership Action Plan. 

"This will change Ukraine's membership path from a two-step process to a one-step process," Stoltenberg said. "We also made it clear that we will issue an invitation for Ukraine to join NATO when allies agree, and conditions are met."

Image: Title: nato f16


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