Some Ukranian pilots could finish F-16 training in AZ before the end of the year

By Greg Hahne
Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 - 3:16pm

F-16 plane in the air
Getty Images
F-16 fighter jet

The first U.S.-trained Ukrainian F-16 fighter jet pilots could be flying before the end of the year.

Still, it will take some time before they fight in combat missions.

On Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Michael Loh said the most adept Ukrainian pilots could complete training in Arizona in as little as three months. 

They are expected to arrive at the Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson by October. The amount of time to finish training depends on English proficiency and previous fighter jet experience. 

On average, training takes six to nine months. Once finished in Arizona, more schooling will be completed back in Europe by NATO allies, with no clear timeframe on that. 

Ukraine’s leaders have asked for the F-16 fighter jets from Western allies since the beginning of the war to improve air defenses.