U.S. grounds Saudi pilots, halts military training after base shooting

U.S. grounds Saudi pilots, halts military training after base shooting

WASHINGTON: Pentagon yesterday announced it was halting operational training of all Saudi Arabian military personnel in the United States until further notice after a Saudi Air Force lieutenant shot and killed three people last week at a base in Florida.

Reuters reported the decision will have far-reaching impacts on visiting Saudi personnel, including grounding more than 300 Saudi Arabian military aviation students as part of a “safety stand-down,”.

The Pentagon later confirmed the Reuters report about aviation students and added the move would also affect infantry personnel and all other Saudi training, other than classroom training. Such coursework, which includes English-language classes, will continue.

A senior U.S. defense official, briefing Pentagon reporters on the decision, said the move was intended to allow for a broader review of security procedures that would eventually apply to all of some 5,000 international military students in the United States.

Still, the safety standdown only applied to the some 850 visiting students from Saudi Arabia. The defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the shooting “suggested that there could be a particular improvement with that (nation’s) population.”

Reuters


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