It is unclear where Ukrainian F-16 pilots will be trained starting next year

It is unclear where Ukrainian F-16 pilots will be trained starting next year

Norway will continue to contribute to the training of Ukrainian fighter pilots in Denmark until the end of the year, but the hosts will stop training on Danish soil.

The training of Ukrainian fighter pilots at the Skrydstrup air base will stop at the end of 2024, Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said at a press conference with Norwegian Defense Minister Bjørn Arild Gram (Sp) on Monday.

– After 2024 we will not be able to provide additional training for Ukrainian pilots, says Paulsen, who is also the party leader of the Danish Liberal Party.

At the time, the defense minister said 20 Ukrainian F-16 pilots would have trained on Danish soil. Norway contributes to training in Denmark.

The reason for not continuing the exercise is “out of respect” for the fact that Denmark is in the process of transitioning to the use of F-35 aircraft, which will use the capability at Skrydstrup, the Ritzau news agency writes.

Denmark will continue to contribute to the training of Ukrainian pilots after 2024, but it will take place in another country. Today, Ukrainian fighter pilots are also trained in Romania.

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Norway continues in Denmark throughout the year

Norway has sent two F16s and several instructors to Denmark to train Ukrainian pilots.

– Minister of Defense Bjorn Arild Gramm sent an SMS to NTB saying that we are continuing training throughout this year and have also allocated resources for next year's contributions.

He describes cooperation with Denmark and the alliance in training Ukrainian pilots and other personnel as close and good.

– Gramm writes that we are very satisfied with how the Danes solved this gruesome task.

Discussing the future

– The coalition led by Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States is discussing where and how further training will take place, and Norway will contribute to the coalition in the future, he writes.

Denmark has pledged 19 F-16s for Ukraine's war against Russia. The first four aircraft will be in Ukraine this summer. Norway, which phased out the aircraft type when the F-35 entered service, has pledged to donate an undisclosed number of F-16 fighters to Ukraine.

Cooperation in equality

The defense ministers of Denmark and Norway signed a declaration strengthening defense cooperation between the two countries at a press conference on Monday. According to Troels Lund Poulsen, there is an “unresolved cooperation” between the neighboring countries.

Among other things, Denmark and Norway will exchange experiences on gender equality in the armed forces, including conscription. Norway has had equivalent recruitment since 2015, while Denmark will introduce it in 2026.

Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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