Alshamrani was one of 852 Saudi nationals in the United States training under the Pentagon’s security cooperation agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Defense official said. Alshamrani, began his three-year course in August 2017 with English, basic aviation and initial pilot training.
From February 2015, the Ukrainian Glissada company, specialising in the supply of spare parts for airplanes and helicopters of various nations, began looking for pilots and technicians with experience on the Mirage F1 for full-time jobs in Africa.
The final client was Libya Dawn, via the Caravana Middle East company based in Jordan and directed by a US-Jordanian, Rami Ghanem Najm, according to MEE’s source. Najm was arrested in December 2015 in Greece on an international arrest warrant and extradited to the US on arms trafficking charges.
The first two foreign mercenaries appeared in Misrata in June 2015. One of them refused to bomb LNA troops and left. The other – an Ecuadorian, reinforced by technicians of the same country – carried out several air strikes against LNA forces, then Islamic State militants in the Sirte region.
The Pentagon quietly ended a program to train Afghan Air Force pilots in the United States after nearly half of the course attendees disappeared, according to a Defense Department watchdog report released this week.
More than 40 percent of the Afghan pilots sent to train on the AC-208 Combat Caravan lightweight reconnaissance aircraft went absent without leave while in the United States, according to a quarterly report of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. The report, which was released Tuesday, did not detail precisely how many Afghan pilots deserted the training program, which has been conducted at the Fort Worth Meacham Airport in Texas.
It was the second accident with Su-27 jets in Ukraine in the past two months. On October 16, another Su-27 crashed in Ukraine’s Vinnitsa region during the Clear Sky 2018 international military drills. Two pilots were killed in the crash.
„Federal procurement documents reviewed by TYT show that the U.S. Air Force is actively soliciting private contractors for training of Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) personnel to be ‚conducted in the U.S. at contractor’s facility,'“ Klippenstein reported.
Klippenstein noted that if the training of Saudi pilots to fly F-15 fighter jets takes place, it would appear to be the first such activity on American soil since the U.S.-Saudi coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015.