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Portugal to train Ukrainian pilots and mechanics for F-16 operations

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Portugal has announced its commitment to assist in training Ukrainian pilots and mechanics to operate F-16 fighter jets, which will be provided by other countries, notably the Netherlands and Denmark. The Portuguese Defense Minister stated on Monday that the country will provide training to Ukrainian pilots and mechanics to operate the F-16 fighter jets, a critical component of logistical efforts. This collaboration is seen as an essential step in supporting Ukraine’s aviation capabilities.

“Portugal, from the beginning, has sent various types of material, and we have ensured our support to Ukraine in this regard. At this moment, what we are committed to is providing training for pilots and mechanics, which is an absolutely crucial component, as has been reported, in supporting aerial assets like the F-16,” said Helena Carreiras.

The announcement was made by the minister during her visit to Castelo Branco aerodrome, where she was joined by the Minister of Internal Administration. The purpose of the visit was to inspect firefighting aerial resources financed by the European Union under the framework of the RescEU European Civil Protection Mechanism.

Ukraine is set to receive F-16 fighter jets from the Netherlands and Denmark after the United States recently granted approval, a decision hailed by the Ukrainian government as excellent news. The U.S. Department of State, responsible for the country’s foreign policy, revealed that the Netherlands and Denmark had received “formal assurances” to send the fighter jets as soon as the training of the initial group of F-16 pilots is completed.

The United States has stringent rules regarding the resale or transfer of American military equipment by its allies. This recent development demonstrates the strategic cooperation between the involved countries and highlights the importance of shared defense efforts.

Minister Carreiras also emphasized that certain nations possess greater capacity and availability to contribute to these efforts, such as Denmark and the Netherlands. “We [Portugal] will contribute by providing pilot and mechanic training for this critical logistical endeavor to ensure the capacity functions effectively,” concluded Helena Carreiras.

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