Flight training for Saudi students suspended

Flight training suspended indefinitely for Saudi students


All Saudi military trainees have been grounded indefinitely from flight training at air bases across the country after a deadly shooting by a member of the Saudi Royal Air Force at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

There are 852 Saudi students across the country. More than 300 Saudi military trainees are stationed at three bases in Florida.

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The restriction includes 140 students at the naval base in Pensacola; 35 at nearby Whiting Field; and another 128 students at Naval Air Station Mayport, The Associated Press reported.

Classroom training will continue this week. Flight training for other students will also resume while military leaders examine the vetting process, The New York Times reported. An estimated 5,100 international students training at U.S. military installations will also be part of the review.

The order is in an effort to ensure student safety as they recover from the trauma of the shooting. The Saudi shooter killed three members of the U.S. military and injured eight others before he was fatally shot.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

In this Dec. 9, 2019 photo made available by the FBI, Saudi Arabia Defense Attaché Major General Fawaz Al Fawaz (second from right) meets with Saudi students at the NAS Pensacola base in Pensacola, Fla. The Navy announced on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, that flight training has been suspended for about 175 Saudi Arabian students in the wake of a shooting at the base on Friday that killed three sailors and injured eight others. (FBI via AP)
In this Dec. 9, 2019 photo made available by the FBI, Saudi Arabia Defense Attaché Major General Fawaz Al Fawaz (second from right) meets with Saudi students at the NAS Pensacola base in Pensacola, Fla. The Navy announced on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, that flight training has been suspended for about 175 Saudi Arabian students in the wake of a shooting at the base on Friday that killed three sailors and injured eight others. (FBI via AP) (FBI via AP/FBI via AP)