Romania inaugurates F-16 hub

An F-16 training hub using Dutch aircraft and Lockheed Martin instructors and maintainers is operational at Fetesti in southeastern Romania for pilots from allied countries and other partners, including Ukraine. Romania’s defence ministry says interoperability will better position NATO “to face the complex challenges” in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region. [node:read-more:link]

CANSOFCOM to continue Africa training

Despite concerns that previous programs have involved African troops which later became involved in coups, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command is planning to join the 2024 iteration of Flintlock, a U.S.-led training exercise. “As planning is still ongoing, we cannot confirm any further details at this time,” a spokesman says, adding that “CANSOFCOM continually assesses the conduct of our partner forces.” [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainian pilots train in U.S.

The U.S. has begun training a “small number” of Ukrainian pilots on “the fundamentals” of F-16 fighters at an Arizona Air National Guard base specifically tasked with training foreign pilots on the aircraft. A typical F-16 course takes around six months but a U.S. officer said October 25 that “for Ukraine, it is going to be tailored for exactly what they need to do, which is multirole, both air-to-air and air-to-ground.” [node:read-more:link]

More support for Ukraine

The federal government has topped up assistance for Ukraine with a $650-million deal to supply 50 armoured vehicles over three years. The announcement coincided with a commitment to send personnel to train Ukrainian fighter pilots, an updated trade deal, more funding for Ukrainian mental health programs, and extended Russian sanctions. [node:read-more:link]

Canada funds UK training for Ukrainians

Defence Minister Bill Blair announced September 17 during a visit to Britain that Canada has committed $33 million to underwrite Canadian Armed Forces’ training of Ukrainians at a facility in Kent. The funds are from a $500-million assistance package announced by Prime Minister Trudeau in June. [node:read-more:link]

Cracking down on foreign training

Drawing from U.S. law, tighter legal restrictions on former Australian military personnel who want to train foreign forces were announced September 15 by Defence Minister Richard Marles. He had ordered a review after China reportedly approached Australian veterans, a move which concerns its allies. [node:read-more:link]

F-16 training in Romania

The Netherlands, Romania and Lockheed Martin have signed a letter of intent to open a European F-16 fighter jet training centre in Romania. It would focus initially in training Romanian pilot and then others, potentially Ukrainians, later. Romania has 17 F-16 but is getting 32 more declared surplus by the Netherlands [node:read-more:link]

Canada continues F-16 role

Even though the RCAF has never operated F-16 fighters, it remains involved in the U.S.-led multinational plan to train Ukrainian pilots. “These planning efforts are focused on training students with no prior experience to become pilots, technicians and support staff,” says a DND spokesperson. “This type of initiative requires multiple training phases that are not necessarily tied to a specific platform, such as the F-16.” [node:read-more:link]

CAF trainers still in Niger

Canadian Armed Forces trainers remain in Niger nearly four weeks after a military coup and despite Ottawa’s decision to suspend direct aid. They are among more than 2,600 foreign troops, mainly from France and the U.S., whose governments have condemned the overthrow of Niger’s elected governmment. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian AWOL in Poland

An unidentified Canadian Army captain from Toronto has been released from service without charge after going absent without leave while in Poland. He had been helping to train Ukrainian troops but when scheduled to rotate home in February, he went AWOL after telling his commanders that he wanted to stay to help Ukrainian relatives. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. seeks extradition from Australia

Lawyers for former U.S. Marine aviator Daniel Duggan, 54, imprisoned in Australia since last October, are fighting an extradition order approved by the country’s attorney general. The U.S. wants to try him on an array of charges linked to his work as a private contractor allegedly training Chinese pilots on aircraft carrier landings. [node:read-more:link]

Crashed Chinook recovered

The wreckage of an RCAF CH-147F Boeing Chinook transport helicopter which crashed into the Ottawa River last month, killing both pilots and injuring two other crewmembers during a night training exercise, was recovered today. It has been returned to Garrison Petawawa where the Directorate of Flight Safety is continuing its investigation. [node:read-more:link]

USCG targets assault and harassment

The U.S. Coast Guard’s commander, Admiral Linda Fagan, has announced a review of the agency’s policies, culture and practices in response to reports of sexual assault and harassment at its Connecticut training academy. “As we don't paint over rust on a ship, we will not paint over the rust stain of assault, harassment, bullying, hazing and retaliation,” she said in a statement with Master Chief Petty Officer Heath Jones, the USCG’s senior enlisted member. [node:read-more:link]

Chinook crash recovery begins

The Canadian Armed Forces today began recovery of the Boeing CH-147 Chinook helicopter which crashed into the Ottawa River at Garrison Petawawa June 21. The crash killed both RCAF pilots on a night training exercise. [node:read-more:link]

No F-16s for Ukraine anytime soon

Transferral of F-16 fighters to Ukraine is months away, a U.S. State Department official confirmed June 19. The U.S. has not announced transfers of any of its F-16s but supports allies’ plans. Stan Brown, the department’s principal deputy assistant secretary for political-military affairs, pointed out that maintainers as well as pilots must be trained, but that the department is already dealing with third-party requests to start pilot training. [node:read-more:link]


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