February 28, 2023
WASHINGTON — The bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) urging the Biden Administration to provide F-16 fighter aircraft to Ukraine grew to 16 Members as Kiev continues its fight against Russia’s unprovoked and brutal invasion one year into the conflict.
“…[W]e write to respectfully request that your Administration provide Ukraine with increased air superiority capability, including the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft requested by Kiev, or similar fourth-generation aircraft, as soon as possible,” wrote the lawmakers. “The provision of such aircraft is necessary to help Ukraine protect its airspace, particularly in light of renewed Russian offensives and considering the expected increase in large-scale combat operations.”
The letter follows reports that senior U.S. defense officials, including U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Christopher Cavoli, believe that the provision of F-16s or similar aircraft could make a meaningful difference in the conflict.
“Given Ukraine’s experienced combat pilots and demonstrated capability to effectively utilize the western defensive and offensive platforms they have received to date, we believe providing Ukraine with fourth generation fighter aircraft represents a sound strategic investment in bolstering Kiev’s military capability and bringing this conflict to a just conclusion…We believe that a U.S. willingness to provide F-16 fighters to Ukraine may well encourage our NATO allies and European partners to provide comparable fourth generation fighter aircraft to Kiev,” continue the lawmakers.
Joining Golden to push for support for Ukraine were Representatives Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Jason Crow (CO-06), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Mike Gallagher (WI-08), Jim Costa (CA-21), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Don Bacon (NE-02), Susan Wild (PA-07), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Bradley Schneider (IL-10), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07, Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), August Pfluger (TX-11), and Rob Wittman (VA-01).
The letter can be read here.
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