The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has deployed one squadron of F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany to conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft as part of a Flying Training Deployment.
The F-22s, assigned to the USAF 95th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Wing based at Tyndall AFB, Fla., arrived in Germany on Aug. 8 and will remain in Europe for several weeks. The deployment also includes Airmen and associated equipment.
The F-22s will also forward deploy from Germany to operating locations within other NATO member nations in order to maximize training opportunities while strengthening the NATO alliance and deterring regional aggression.
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 and the F-35 are the world’s premier operational 5th-generation fighters, 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 these aircraft the best air dominance fighters in the world.
“Their presence in the European theatre underscores our ability to deter current and potential threats, assure our allies, and respond in a timely way should deterrence fail”, said a statement from USAF 52nd Fighter Wing based at Spangdahlem Air Base.