20 Nov 2018

US Air Force Chief talks Russia with Ukrainian counterpart

US Air Force Chief of Staff, General David Goldfein, has met with his Ukrainian counterpart, Colonel General Sergii Drozdov, in a show of military support.

Foremost on the agenda, Russia and the pivotal role the Ukraine plays in resolving security issues across Eastern Europe. Goldfein and Drozdov also discussed at length the maturing relationship between their respective nations. It’s no coincidence that Drozdov appeared in Washington so soon after the US Air Force participated in Clear Sky 2018 – the very first multi-national joint military exercise to be held in Ukraine.

“Russia’s aggression is not simply a matter for Ukraine,” said Goldfein during a public appearance, wherein he and Drozdov met with aircrew and journalists.

“It is a threat to the region, to Europe, to the United States and to the stability of the international order,” he continued. “Our growing partnership and security cooperation with Ukraine supports our national defense strategy and promotes regional stability, security and international trust.”

Goldfein also acknowledged Clear Sky 2018, saying: “It showcased the strong bond between the US and Ukraine and how far the Ukrainian air force has come in their path towards NATO interoperability.”

Similarly, Drozdov pointed to the two nations’ resilience and their shared desire to promote regional stability and security. “Together with General Goldfein, we had a positive discussion on points of common interest,” said Drozdov, via an interpreter. “We are finding new ways to support each other so we can withstand Russian aggression.”

Ukraine has also expressed a desire to join NATO – a key reason why collaboration with the United States is so important. The success of Clear Sky 2018 is significant as well, since one of the more important requirements for membership is demonstrating interoperability.

To this end, Goldfein said a considerable portion of the discussion between the two air chiefs was dedicated to interoperability to ensure systems and tactics and operations mesh.

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