Air Force Secretary says U.S. and the West ARE considering sending fighter jets to Ukraine and give pilots accelerated training to ramp up Western involvement against Russia
- The U.S. Air Force is considering providing A-10 Warthogs to Ukraine to conduct air assaults in its war with Russia
- Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall didn’t rule out sending the retiring A-10s to Kyiv despite shooting down the idea in March
- Said it’s’ largely up to Ukraine’ to decide what aircraft it wants
- Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly said he needs more advanced fighter jets such as F-15s and F-16s
U.S. forces are now considering sending fighter jets to Ukraine as it continues to face an assault from Russia, according to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall.
Lieutenant Colonel Kendall said that Ukraine is busy dealing with its ‘right now problem’ in an allusion to its ground-based fighting in the Donbas region. But he also said that assistance in the form of aircraft may be needed.
‘We’ll be open to discussions with them about what their requirements are and how we might be able to satisfy them,’ the Air Force head said during the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Wednesday.
Kendall appeared along with Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Brown Jr. during the Security Forum this week.
General Brown also said that the U.S. has a responsibility to help train Ukrainian pilots on how to fly the different aircraft should they provide it to their forces.
The U.S. Air Force is looking to retire its A-10 Warthogs – and many have suggested that they be sent to Ukraine to help in air assaults in the war with Russia.
The U.S. Air Force is considering providing A-10 Warthogs (pictured) to Ukraine to conduct air assaults in its war with Russia
But Kendall said it’s ‘largely up to Ukraine’ to decide what aircraft it wants.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall didn’t rule out sending the retiring A-10s to Kyiv despite shooting down the idea in March, but said it’s’ largely up to Ukraine’ to decide what aircraft it wants. Pictured: Kendall speaks at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on Wednesday
Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky has repeatedly said he needs more advanced fighter jets such as F-15s and F-16s.
Both Kendall and Brown’s comments came a week after the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act. In the lower chamber’s version of the bill, the U.S. would provide $100 million to train Ukrainian pilots to fly U.S. aircraft.
Kendall has previously shot down suggestions the U.S. could send A-10s to Ukraine, but in Aspen he did not shut down the idea entirely.
‘There are a number of international opportunities that are possible there,’ Kendall said, adding: ‘Older U.S. systems are a possibility.’
Brown told Reuters in an interview on the way to the Aspen Security Forum that the U.S. and its allies are considering different ideas for creating a long-term program to train Ukrainian pilots and modernize its air force.
He added during his remarks in Colorado on Wednesday that Ukraine’s success in fighting Russia since war broke out there earlier this year is a sign of the benefits of the cooperation between the U.S. and Ukrainian militaries.