U.S. F-35s forward deploy to NATO’s eastern flank

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  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --  Six F-35A aircraft from Hill Air Force Base's active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th Fighter Wing currently operating out of Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, forward deployed Feb. 24 to the Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions in support of NATO’s collective defense.

Last week, Air Force Reserve pilots, maintainers, and support personnel from Hill AFB joined the effort in Europe, where the fifth-generation aircraft will support NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing mission for a period of time from forward operating locations at Estonia’s Amari Air Base, Lithuania’s Siauliai Air Base, and Romania’s Fetesti Air Base.

“We are facing a dynamic environment, and the deployment of F-35s to NATO’s eastern flank enhances our defensive posture and amplifies the Alliance’s interoperability,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Force in Europe – Air Forces Africa commander.

The F-35 provides unprecedented communication capabilities, command and control, and lethality for the combined and joint force. These capabilities afford NATO leaders the flexibility to project power and assert air dominance in highly contested environments.

USAFE’s ability to support and integrate with NATO’s air policing missions continually hardens the alliance’s solidarity, collective resolve, and ability to adapt to a dynamic warfighting environment.

Imagery will be available on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service at https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/supporteuropartallies.

For more information, please call +49 (0) 6371-47-6558 or e-mail usafepao.pao@us.af.mil. If after duty hours, please call +49 (0) 1624-25-5428 or e-mail usafepa.pastaffdutyofficer@us.af.mil.