U.S. Air Force fighter and mobility aircraft deployed to bases in Poland, Lithuania and Estonia on July 16 as part of Operation Rapid Forge, a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-sponsored training event designed to enhance interoperability with NATO allies and partners, improve readiness and sharpen operational capabilities.
+ F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, F-15E Strike Eagles, and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrived at Powidz Air Base, Poland, to conduct refueling and re-arming operations using inert munitions.
+ F-15E Strike Eagles and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrived at Siauilai AB, Lithuania, also to conduct refueling and re-arming operations using inert munitions.
+ F-15E Strike Eagles and MC-130J Commando II aircraft arrived at Amari AB, Estonia, to conduct refueling operations.
The ability to operate at forward locations enables collective defense capabilities and provides the U.S. and NATO allies the strategic and operational breadth needed to deter adversaries and assure our allies and partners.
The F-35s are deployed from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill AFB, Utah. F-15E Strike Eagles are deployed from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. Both squadrons of fighter jets are operating out of Spangdahlem AB, Germany. The MC-130J aircraft are from the 352nd Special Operations Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, and the C-130J aircraft are deployed from the 317th Airlift Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Tex., and are operating out of Ramstein AB, Germany.
Additional details on the training and imagery will be released as it is available. Imagery and subsequent press release will be consolidated on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service feature page for Rapid Forge 2019, located here: https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/rapidforge2019. Rapid Forge is partially funded by the European Deterrence Initiative.