By TARA COPP and LOLITA C. BALDOR
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AP) — The U.S. could have the first Ukrainian pilots trained on F-16 fighter jets before the end of the year, though it will be longer than that before they are flying combat missions. That’s according to the head of the Air National Guard force tasked with training them. Lt. Gen. Michael Loh said Tuesday that Ukraine’s most experienced fighter pilots could complete U.S. training in Arizona on the F-16 in as little as three months. After that, those pilots will get some additional training in Europe. Deployment of the jets will also be dependent on maintenance training that other Ukraine allies have pledged.