Two Ukrainian pilots getting evaluated at US base in Arizona – Reports

Washington: Two Ukrainian pilots have arrived in the United States to help US authorities determine how long a potential training program, including one involving F-16 fighter jets, could take, NBC News reports citing US officials.
“The program is about assessing their abilities as pilots so we can better advise them on how to use capabilities they have and we have given them,” one US administration official said.
Ukrainian pilots are being evaluated by American military trainers on simulators at a US base in Tucson, Arizona, to determine how long a “proper” training program could take. The pilots will not be flying any aircraft during the evaluation, administration officials told NBC.
Up to ten more Ukrainian pilots have been approved for the evaluation and some of them could arrive in the United States as early as this month, officials said.
Nonetheless, this evaluation program does not change Washington’s stance on the potential supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, according to NBC.
At the end of last month, US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said that it makes no sense to start training Ukrainians on F-16s given that they may never get the aircraft. Earlier in February, US President Joe Biden said F-16s were off the table “for now” for Ukraine.

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