Pentagon Recruiting & Training Ex-Afghan Pilots to ‘Plug Holes’ in Ukraine’s Air Force, Source Says
08:54 GMT 29.08.2022 (Updated: 12:44 GMT 13.04.2023)
© AP Photo / Charles DharapakThis March 27, 2008, file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. The Pentagon said Tuesday, July 6, 2021, that it is canceling a cloud-computing contract with Microsoft that could eventually have been worth $10 billion and will instead pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
© AP Photo / Charles Dharapak
Attempts to recruit more pilots for replenishing Ukraine’s Air Force reportedly come after it was practically decimated by Russia’s Aerospace Forces and air defense systems, according to a military-diplomatic source cited by reporters.
The US Department of Defense plans to recruit former Afghan pilots who fled amid the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan to undergo training for the Ukrainian Air Force, a military-diplomatic source told Sputnik.
"As we know, the Pentagon began recruiting former Afghan pilots who ran to the US together with the Americans a year ago. Their training now kicks off in California with plans to subsequently dispatch them to Ukraine via Poland," the source said.
The training will involve not only former pilots but also Afghans who served in special forces units. They are all being offered to undergo training and sign a contract “which presupposes their subsequent deployment to the combat zone in Ukraine," the source added.
However, the military-diplomatic source underscored that these measures will fail to affect the overall outcome of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, launched on February 24.
"All these hysterical attempts ‘to plug holes’ will only postpone the Kiev regime’s military catastrophe and the political one of its ‘sponsors’ in Washington… They won’t impact the end result," the source emphasized.
4 May 2022, 17:19 GMT
Earlier, Russian media outlets cited a military-diplomatic source as saying that the entire qualified operating personnel of Ukraine’s former air force has been demolished by effective actions of Russia’s Aerospace Forces and air defense systems.
Ukraine was forced to involve poorly trained air cadets for combat sorties, resulting in "catastrophic losses” among the remnants of the Ukrainian aviation, including Mig-29, Su-27 and Su-25 aircraft, added the insider. Furthermore, efforts to reportedly recruit more pilots in Poland and other Eastern European countries failed to succeed, it was added.
Back in April Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said training of Ukrainian forces was taking place in several locations in Europe. Kirby specified in that the US had commenced training with the Ukrainian armed forces on key systems at US military installations in Germany, helping them learn advanced weapons systems, such as howitzers, radar systems and armored vehicles.
At the time, Kirby noted that the Florida National Guard had been tasked with the "bulk" of the training.
The UK, which remains the second-largest supplier of weaponry to the Kiev regime after the US, has played a highly active role in training Ukrainian forces. Furthermore, Canada and Sweden have sent their groups of military instructors in line with a program unveiled by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June with the potential to train up to 10,000 soldiers every 120 days.
This comes as European Union defense and foreign ministers, meeting in Prague this week, will also discuss options for setting up an EU military training mission for Ukrainian forces, mainly enabling them to operate weapons Western nations are funneling into Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly warned that such actions only serve to fan the flames of the Ukraine conflict and prolong it. The Kremlin also accused NATO of trying to create a state hostile to Russia in Ukraine, with the eventual goal to deploy its troops on Ukrainian territory.