After long ruling out providing F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to defend itself from Russia, the U.S. military now says the jets “clearly have a role” in the war.
The U.S. joined the F-16 coalition that includes the U.K., Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands during the recent G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan.
The coalition aims to provide training to Ukrainians on the jets, but it is not clear yet who will provide the equipment. Denmark and the Netherlands will lead the training, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Thursday.
On Thursday, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said in a press conference that Ukraine “deserves a capable air force,” but it will take a considerable amount of time to build up an air force that’s the size, scope and scale necessary. “There’s no magic weapons,” Milley said.