US House approves training for Ukrainian pilots; considers training options

US Air Force Chief of Staff Charles Brown said that officials are considering training options after the United States House of Representatives authorized $100 million for training Ukrainian pilots to fly American jets. 

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, Brown said he believes that the US has “an aspect and a responsibility, like we do with all our allies and partners, to be prepared to train them in various capabilities and capacities”.

“Part of this is understanding where Ukraine wants to go, and how we meet them where they are,” Brown further said.

Brown spoke to Reuters just before traveling to Aspen and acknowledged that discussions within the US military and its allies were underway.

“You want to build a long-term plan on how do you build their air force and the air force that they’re going to need for the future,” said Brown, a pilot himself, without confirming specific details or aircraft to be used on training.

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In June 2022, two Ukrainian top air force fighter pilots traveled to Washington DC  to urge US Congress to supply Ukraine with urgently needed equipment, including fourth-generation warplanes. 

For months, Ukrainian leaders have been requesting that the US and other NATO nations supply them with modern warplanes, including F-16s or F-15s.

“Air defense is pretty immediate, but it depends on a mutual level of air defense,” a Ukrainian pilot told US media outlet Fox News. “We already are receiving Stinger missiles. It’s the lowest level of air defense. It’s very effective for its role, but we need some simple next level air defense.”

The Congress bill was passed in June 2022 and approved on July 14, 2022 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act 329-101.

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