The Pentagon is temporarily suspending the operational training for Saudi military students in the United States while officials investigate a deadly shooting incident at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola carried out by a Saudi national which left 4 people, including the assailant, dead, Defence Department officials have said.
Flight training and other operational exercises will be suspended for nearly 850 Saudi trainees in the United States, meaning that the Saudi pilots, including several hundred studying at Naval Air Station Pensacola and other bases in the state, will be grounded, for the time being, reported the Washington Post.
The move is part of a "safety stand-down" under which the military will review how it screens foreign military students and grants them access to bases.
The assailant who carried out the mass shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola was identified as 21-year-old Mohammed Alshamrani, who was a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force.
Saudis have received training at the Pensacola site since the 1970s. As of last week, there were 852 Saudis in the US for Pentagon-sponsored training related to security cooperation, representing 16 per cent of the 5,181 students from 153 countries in these programs, Defense Department spokesman Chris Garver said.
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