Ukraine’s Air Force is allowing foreigners to serve as aviation specialists and engineers and pilots if they get F-16s
A Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson has stressed that they will need international recruits who specialise as an “aviation engineer” if they have suitable military training.
When Kyiv starts to receive Western combat aircraft the need for specialists in military aviation will be in high demand which could include pilots.
Yurii Ihnat, a spokesperson for the commander of Ukraine’s Air Force said, “If they have a military occupation such as a pilot or aviation engineer, then these people can legally become servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
Ihnat said that they are not short of fighter jet pilots as they currently have old Soviet era warplanes, but if and when they do receive modern planes such as the fourth generation F-16 the need for specialists will increase.
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He added, “If we have F-16 or other types of equipment, then maybe [foreigners] will appear.
“Because the experience of people who have long been working with this equipment will be needed even for briefings.”
On Thursday the Slovakian Defence Ministry have said that the first four of 13 MiG-29 fighter jets have been sent to Ukraine and the remaining nine will be sent in the coming weeks.
Last week Poland announced that they will send four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelensky has made a series of urgent requests.
The Slovak Defense Minister Jaro Naď said on Thursday, “The transfer was carried out by Ukrainian pilots in agreement with the Slovak Air Force and other components that ensured the security of the transfer and the necessary documentation.”
A highly decorated former US Air Force pilot, Lt. Col. Dan Hampton who was the one of the more “deadliest F-16 pilot” told Voice of America if asked he would fly the fighter jet in Ukraine.
Known as “Two Dogs” he served for 20 years and fought in both Iraq wars, Kosovo and the Persian Gulf and in an interview he gave his thoughts on training F-16 pilots to fight in Ukraine.
Speaking from an Air Force base in Arizona he said that “no one has ever won a war from the air,” Hampton added, “You can’t win a war from the air, but you can lose a war if you don’t control the airspace.”
He has advised for the Ukrainian government to hire private contractors who have experience flying the F-16s which will buy Kyiv “time” and “help you win the war.”
Hampton added that “I’ll even go myself. You can count on me.”
He described the Ukraine war as a “black and white” issue of “good versus evil” then added that governments who “can provide” services such as supplying F-16s “should.”
He described the Russian Su-35 fighter jets as “junk” and only look “good at air shows” and the F-16 is a multirole air-to-ground and air-to-air.