U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated this at a press conference following the Ramstein 12 meeting on Thursday, Ukrinform's own correspondent reports.
“During today’s meeting several allies and partners also discussed plans for training Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighter aircraft, including the F-16,” he said.
He stressed that planning and executing this training will be a significant undertaking, and the coordination of this contact group will help make that possible.
“And I especially want to thank Denmark and the Netherlands which have decided to lead a European coalition in providing F-16 training for Ukrainian forces. In the coming weeks, my Dutch and Danish counterparts will work with the United States and other allies to develop a framework,” the Pentagon chief said.
He also confirmed that Norway, Belgium, Portugal and Poland have already offered to contribute to the training of Ukrainian pilots.
“And we expect more countries to join this important initiative soon,” he said.
He also stressed that starting work on the F-16 training now is an important example of a long-term commitment to Ukraine’s security.
As reported by Ukrinform, members of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group agreed to find more opportunities to provide Ukrainians with additional air defense systems.
Photo: US Air Force