Senators want Pentagon to be prepared to send F-16s to Ukraine
A bipartisan group of senators wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Saying the United States needs to take a hard look at providing F-16s to Ukraine.
The 8 senators led by Democrat Mark Kelly say they are encouraged to see Ukrainian pilots visit morris air base in Tucson this week for a skills assessment.
They wrote quote: “This is a critical step in gauging the readiness of Ukrainian pilots to receive Western 4th generation fighters, but there are a number of other important factors that must be evaluated and considered.”
They want to know if the Ukrainians would be able to maintain the jets on their own, which aircraft would be available to transfer and if they would restore retired Jets. Theyre also inquiring about the operational impact: like what capability the f-16s would add to ukraines Air Force, and whether Ukrainian pilots have experience in the types of missions they’d fly.
One Republican who signed the letter,Senator Tommy Tuberville says he doesn’t support sending the jets yet., but he wants the Pentagon to be ready.
Tommy Tuberville, R-Miss; “I’m not yet for sending them but I’m for looking at the situation. But you can’t just start this whole thing up. If we’re going to train them, train them. Get us in the situation that if we need to do it, do it. Prepare for it. I just think it’s something we will have to look at if this thing escalated.”
The Biden Administration is not willing to send Jets for now, but pressure is growing ahead of an expected Russian offensives this spring. Straight from dc I’m Ray Bogan.