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Deborah Lee James: Air Force Could Deploy F-35As to Europe in Near Future

Deborah Lee James

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has said the U.S. Air Force could deploy Lockheed Martin-built F-35A Lighting II aircraft to Europe as early as next summer, Defense News reported Thursday.

Valerie Insinna writes James said at an Atlantic Council event that Europe could receive F-35As “in the not too distant future” since the Air Force’s fighter jet variant has been declared “combat ready.”

Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of the Air Combat Command, announced in August that the F-35A model achieved initial operational capability after meeting certain requirements.

James called on her successor to push through with deployments to Europe to support U.S. air dominance and deter Russia’s hostile military action, Insinna reported.

The Air Force secretary added her successor should maintain a steady amount of funds to increase the size of active-duty airmen in the coming fiscal year, the report stated.

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