Pentagon Confirms Saudi Arabia Military Training Halted

The Pentagon announced on Tuesday 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.

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,” first reported by Reuters earlier on Tuesday.

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 Defense Department official confirmed that the standdown only applied to 850 Saudi students, saying that the shooting indicated that there could be “a particular improvement with that (nation’s) population.”

According to the anonymous official, the move is intended to allow for a broader review of security measures taken on more than 5,000 international military students in the U.S.

This story is at Reuters.