US Congress allocates $100 million to train Ukrainian pilots

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US Congress allocates $100 million to train Ukrainian pilots
US Congress allocates $100 million to train Ukrainian pilots
18 July, 15:01ArmyPhoto: Соцсети
The House of Representatives of the US Congress approved the allocation of $100 million for training Ukrainian pilots to fly American aircraft, as well as technicians for its maintenance. Now it's up to the Senate and Biden.

Alexander Sychev

This decision is enshrined in the enacted National Defense Authority Act for Fiscal Year 2023.

Training Ukrainian military pilots, if the law is approved in the Senate, and then passes without changes to the conciliation commission, is supposed to be on F-15 and F-16 fighters at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, possibly in Texas or, which is also not excluded , European NATO member countries will be involved in educational work.

There is currently one Ukrainian Air Force pilot in the United States taking command courses at the Columbus base. He arrived there even before the start of a special military operation and was delayed. Ukrainian representatives said that the country's air force has more than 30 pilots with a decent knowledge of English, ready to start training, and they are confident that these pilots will master American technology in a week or less. Americans, on the other hand, have other approved time frames. However, for Ukrainians they can make an exception.

So, the transition course from one type of aircraft to the F-16, which takes trained and experienced fighter pilots, in the US Air Force is given more than six weeks. An ordinary cadet who did not fly at all needs at least 37 weeks. It takes several months for foreign air force pilots flying non-American aircraft. Some are years.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger, the author of the amendment to provide funds for training, said: “I have no doubt that when this war is over, Ukraine will have to be equipped with Western military equipment. In addition, there are no more MiGs left that could be sent to Ukraine.”

It is too early to talk about the future of Ukraine, but the approval of the amendment by all authorities will mean that Kyiv may begin to receive American-made fighter jets. Any country that owns the F-16 can become a supplier, not necessarily the United States. So, most likely, it will be. But this year, the US Air Force will decommission 48 F-16 aircraft, which, after a thorough maintenance, may well be transferred to the Ukrainian army.

The discussion about the need to send combat aircraft to Washington has been going on since the moment when it finally became clear that Ukraine had lost control over the country's airspace. Most legislators in both the lower and upper houses of Congress are in favor of including American aircraft in arms packages. Uncertainty about the correctness of this decision is expressed only in the presidential administration.

The considerations that guide the White House, several and expressed by Kinzinger that the Ukrainian guys can be trusted that they promised not to use the transferred modern weapons against Russian territory, are hardly even considered in the White House. They already talked about the "legality of goals" on the territory of Russia. They mentioned, in particular, the Crimean bridge and the entire peninsula, whose Russian affiliation is not recognized in the United States.

The Biden administration's primary concern is that American technology could fall into Russian hands. These fears all the more intensified when it became known that the French Caesar howitzer was simply sold by the Ukrainians to Russia, and the American M777 howitzer fell into the hands of the Russian military practically undamaged. In any case, the most secret thing in it is the computing unit.

But much more important and dangerous is the possibility of direct US involvement in the conflict with Russia. And the provision of aircraft leads precisely to such a development of events.

The training of experienced pilots who are ready to go into battle in an unfamiliar vehicle immediately after training requires considerable time. Sending even decommissioned cars with inexperienced pilots on board is the height of cynicism, and it’s not very hard to believe.

Thus, the appearance of American combat aircraft in the Ukrainian skies will mean a high probability that they are controlled by US Air Force personnel, and the Kinzinger Amendment is just an information cover. After all, today there is already evidence that the batteries of M777 howitzers and HiMARS multiple launch rocket systems are led by the Americans, and trained Ukrainian soldiers are in their subordination. The technology was too complicated for them.

American gunners can still somehow be represented as military in reserve, who decided to voluntarily go to Ukraine. But pilots serve until retirement age. Too valuable personnel to release them ahead of schedule, but they can be sent on a business trip. Their appearance will mean direct US intervention in hostilities.

Yes, even if there are no American pilots. Go figure out in the heat of an air battle, at high speeds and long distances, who controls the American F-16. In general, a very dangerous amendment for the United States was proposed by former pilots Kinzinger.

The Senate, which today is also ruled by "warriors", will approve his amendment. The bill will be considered in the upper house of the US Congress in September. Will the president's advisers be able to keep Biden's hand from signing it?

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