Two U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-22 Raptor stealth fighter aircraft arrived at the Hellenic Air Force’s Larissa Air Base in Greece on Friday (August 10) afternoon.
The aircraft crew was received by Lieutenant General George Blioumis, the Chief of the Hellenic Tactical Air Force, and Captain (Navy) Timothy Ketter, the Defense Attache to the U.S. Embassy in Greece.
The jets are part of the squadron of F-22 Raptors deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany on Aug. 8 to conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft as part of a Flying Training Deployment. The jets belong to the USAF 95th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Wing based at Tyndall AFB, Fla.
The forward deployment of the jets from Germany to operating locations within other NATO member nations, such as Larissa Air Base, was done to maximize training opportunities while strengthening the NATO alliance and deterring regional aggression. The jets will remain in Greece until Aug. 13.
This training deployment to Europe is funded in part by the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), formerly called as European Reassurance Initiative. The program was initiated in June 2014, about three months after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, by the White House to increase the U.S. presence in Europe for security purposes.
The F-22 is the world’s premier operational 5th-generation fighter, possessing a unique combination of stealth, speed, agility, and situational awareness along with lethal long-range, air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, making the aircraft one of the best air dominance fighter in the world.