The U.S. will support a joint international effort to train Ukrainian pilots on modern fighter aircraft, including F-16s, President Joe Biden informed G-7 leaders on Friday in Japan.
The training will take place outside Ukraine at a site in Europe and will require months to complete. Officials hope to begin the training in the coming weeks, according to a senior administration official, who like others was granted anonymity to discuss the matter before it was announced.
The move could pave the way to eventually send advanced Western fighter jets to Ukraine, and discussions are ongoing about how and when that would happen, the official said.
The coalition of countries participating in the training effort will decide when to actually provide the jets, how many to send and who will transfer them as the training takes place over the coming months.
Biden’s decision came overnight East Coast time amid a day of deliberations among the leaders of the G-7 nations, but discussions have been in the works for weeks, a second U.S. official said. [Continue reading…]