The United States Air Force deployed Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II 5th generation fighters to Germany.
The twelve aircraft belong to the 388th Fighter Wing. They were moved, along with the personnel needed to operate them, to Spangdahlem Air Base, near the borders with Luxembourg and France.
The length of their deployment was not specified, as it is likely tied to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
“The deployment of U.S. F-35As to Spangdahlem Air Base increases the defensive posture of the NATO Alliance and enhances our ability to operate together,” said General Jeff Harrigian, Commander U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa and Commander Allied Air Command in a press release. “We are facing a dynamic environment and this deployment significantly enhances our support to NATO’s defenses.”
With the diplomatic situation between Ukraine and Russia becoming more tense, NATO has been bolstering its aerial presence in eastern Europe.
The NATO Baltic Air Policing mission, currently conducted by F-16s from Belgium and Poland, has been reinforced with six USAF F-15 fighter jets at Estonia’s Amari Air Base and four Danish F-16s at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania. Since 2004, NATO air forces rotate to protect Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian airspaces from incursions, as the countries have no airborne capability of their own.
Dutch F-35s and Spanish Eurofighter Typhoons were also deployed to Bulgaria to monitor the Black Sea region.