The U.S. government has deployed F-22 Raptor jets to Romania as part of training exercises in the region intended to help increase security for NATO allies and European partners, Air Force Times reported Monday.
Oriana Pawlyk writes two Lockheed Martin-built Raptors and 20 aircrew members from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base and a Boeing-built KC-135 refueling aircraft from the 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base have arrived at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base.
“This deployment advances our airpower evolution and demonstrates our resolve and commitment to European safety and security,” said Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa.
Air Force Times reports the deployment in the region is part of a U.S. assessment of its role and responsibilities in Europe amid Russia’s military build-up in the region.
“We’re here today to demonstrate our capability to take the F-22 anywhere needed in NATO or across Europe,” squadron commander Daniel Lehoski told Reuters.
William James writes the exercises, which are funded under the European Reassurance Initiative, have centered on the Black Sea as part of a broader strategy that may involve Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.