With NATO planning a grandiose military exercise aimed at deterring Russia, a fleet of F35 state of the art stealth fighter jets has arrived in the Old Continent for the first time.
America’s best aircraft, the F-35A Lightning II jets respectively, just landed at England’s Royal Air Force Base in Lakenheath earlier on Saturday, arriving from Utah’s Hill Air Force base.
General Curtis M. Scaparrotti who is NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe said in an official statement regarding the “air-cavalry arrival”, let me quote:
The forward presence of F-35s support my priority of having ready and postured forces here in Europe. These aircraft, plus more importantly, the men and women who operate them, fortifies the capacity and capability of our NATO alliance.”
Even if a handful of countries already have the F35 A stealth fighter jets in their paraphernalia, today’s deployment marks a premiere for Europe, thus making for an excellent opportunity for United States Air Forces and their NATO allies in the Old Continent to train together using the latest in aircraft technology.
Air Force General Tod D. Wolters also said about today’s event:
“As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations.
The deployment will last several weeks and is part of the European Reassurance Initiative, a US build-up of troops and weapons in Europe launched in 2014 to “deter Russian aggression.”
The overseas training exercise involving the F-35A jet fighters was scheduled months in advance, but today’s deployment arrived during an all time low with regard to diplomatic relations between the US and Russia, as described by President Donald Trump.
President Trump said earlier this week that, let me quote, “we’re not getting along with Russia at all”, end quote. This declaration was made in the aftermath of the POTUS meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary General in Washington DC on Wednesday.
The F35 is a 5th generation stealth fighter jet featuring a modular design and being available in 3 variants. The F-35A is the model designed for being used on conventional runways (for the Air-force) and it entered service in August of 2016. The USMC version is the F-35B and it was the first to be declared combat ready, while Lockheed’s F-35C (the US Navy version) is still in the works.