Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for United States’ international security affairs voiced the Pentagon’s support for Turkey’s modernization plans for its F-16 fighter jet fleet on Wednesday.
Speaking on a call with National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby, Wallander called Ankara a “highly capable, highly valued, strategic NATO ally,” noting that “strong Turkish defense capabilities contribute to strong NATO defense capabilities.”
“So, the U.S. Department of Defense fully supports Turkey’s modernization plans for its F-16 fleet. These plans are in the works,” she told reporters.
Wallander said the modernization of the fleet is a contribution to NATO security and therefore American security.
The Turkish government requested the F-16s and modernization kits in October 2021.