- A decorated former US Air Force pilot said he would fly fighter jets for Ukraine if needed.
- Retired Lt. Col. Dan “Two Dogs” Hampton discussed the potential of the American F-16 in the war against Ukraine.
- “I will even go myself, you can count on me,” the retired lieutenant colonel said in an interview with VoA.
Dan Hampton, a retired lieutenant colonel known as the “US Air Force’s deadliest F-16 pilot”, said he was willing to fly planes himself for the Ukrainian military if needed in an interview with Voices of America.
The highly decorated pilot, known as ‘Two Dogs’, spent 20 years in the Air Force, fought in the Persian Gulf, Kosovo and Iraq wars, and is an author at New York Times success for his memoir of his time in the military.
Speaking from a base in Arizona, Hampton shared his thoughts in the lengthy interview on training F-16 pilots to fight in the Ukrainian war, the benefits of using the jets and the question whether the Ukrainian government should hire private pilots as the war continues. in his second year.
—Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) March 16, 2023
The F-16, an American single-seat fighter jet, is making headlines after President Joe Biden recently said he would not supply the planes to Ukraine at this time. Democratic and Republican senators, however, pushed the Pentagon to send the jets in that “could prove to be a game changer on the battlefield,” according to Politico.
Earlier this week, Poland became the first NATO country to confirm it would send MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine.
“No one has ever won an air war,” Hampton asserted, “You can’t win an air war, but you can lose a war if you don’t control the airspace,” he told VoA, which the US government helps fund.
Hampton told the interviewer that the Ukrainian government could hire private contractors who already know how to fly F-16s, which “saves you time” and “helps you win the war.”
“I’ll even go myself. You can count on me,” Hampton said.
Retired Lt. Col. Hampton, 58, flew 151 sorties during his distinguished career between 1986 and 2006. He is the most decorated airman since the Vietnam War, according to VoA, winning the Purple Heart, four Distinguished Flying Crosses for extraordinary heroism and eight United States Air Force “Air Medals” for bravery in combat operations in the air.
The retired lieutenant colonel reiterated his commitment to the Ukrainian cause after explaining that he thought it would be faster to send pilots who can fly rather than “sending Ukrainian pilots to the United States and to send them to a training program”.
Russian Su-35 fighter is “trash”, says former pilot
Two Ukrainian pilots were recently sent to Arizona, according to NBC News, for US authorities to determine how long it would take to train them to fly the jets, as well as to improve their skills.
Calling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “black and white” matter of “good versus evil”, Hampton said he hopes “governments that can provide these services should”.
“I’ll even go myself,” he repeated, “I’ll be number one.” You can count on me.
Hampton also compared the F-16 planes – a multirole fighter that can attack air-to-ground and air-to-air – to Russian Su-35 planes, saying the Russian model used during the war “looks good in air shows “. but that they are, in his opinion, “junk”.
Meanwhile, a US Air Force official said fighter jets were “worthless” over Ukraine earlier this week because both sides in the conflict were proficient in long-range missile defense, Insider previously reported.