U.S. Air Force Veterans Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger and Democrat Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan introduced a bill to train Ukrainian fighter pilots and crews on US military air assets.
The Congressman’s letter to the United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that the military aid the United States and other NATO countries provided to Ukraine gave its forces the defensive ability to stop Russia from conquering Kyiv and installing a puppet regime. That is a significant accomplishment. But it has not stopped the war, nor brought Vladimir Putin to the negotiating table to seriously discuss a potential end to hostilities.
“As Air Force veterans, we know that in any conflict with an opposing military, one of the first actions our Joint Forces will take is to establish air supremacy,” the letter says.” Based on public reporting, neither the Ukrainians nor the Russians have established air superiority. We believe the U.S. and our NATO allies can help Ukraine change the situation in the air domain and give Ukrainian forces a decisive advantage in the war.”
According to a press release from Adam Kinzinger, this bill would allow the United States to begin training Ukrainian pilots and air crew members on F-15’s, F-16’s, and other air platforms while the Administration continues to consider sending such equipment.
The Representatives remain hopeful that there won’t be a need for further escalation, but they both agree that it’s critical for the Ukrainian military to be trained and familiar with these air platforms should Russia continue their malign campaign against Ukraine’s sovereignty. Regardless of whether the United States and its allies deploy such equipment, this program will strengthen the Ukrainian military and ensure their long-term stability and security.
“The resilient people of Ukraine are defending themselves against Putin’s war better than most of the world ever thought possible, which is exactly why we must maintain our support at this critical moment,” said Rep. Houlahan. “Because this conflict continues to rage on, we need to rethink our long-term strategic planning to help our Ukrainian allies—this includes training pilots on additional aircraft that might become available to them. It’s simple: should our military decide to transfer aircraft, we need their pilots to be ready to utilize them immediately. Our bipartisan effort will ensure that training happens. The United States continues to be a stalwart supporter of Ukraine’s fight for sovereignty, shown by the additional $1 billion in security assistance authorized this week. As an Air Force veteran, I’m especially grateful to work with Rep. Kinzinger on this critical step forward in the fight for democracy around the world.
Meanwhile, Fox News reported that a Ukrainian fighter pilot asks the US for additional fighter jets.
Ukrainian fighter pilot ‘Juice’ and Ukrainian aerial defense specialist Lt. Col. Denys Smazhnyi discuss why Ukraine is pleading for more military aid from the U.S. as Putin’s assault continues, according to a Fox News report.
On top of that, Ukraine, sent a letter to Congress on March 8 stating Ukraine needs additional aircraft, including Western-made platforms and weapons.