SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany: Six U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II aircraft assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron 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.
The fifth generation aircraft, originally from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, will be supporting NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing mission for an 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.