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Published:April 15th, 2017 11:59 EST
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F-35A Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft Arrive in Europe

By SOP newswire3

Combat-ready F-35A Lightning II multi-role fighter aircraft arrived today at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and European territorial integrity.

"The forward presence of F-35s support my priority of having ready and postured forces here in Europe," said Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, the commander of U.S. European Command and NATO`s supreme allied commander for Europe. "These aircraft, plus more importantly, the men and women who operate them, fortifies the capacity and capability of our NATO Alliance."

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The aircraft are deployed from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and will train with European-based allies.

This long-planned deployment continues to galvanize the U.S. commitment to security and stability throughout Europe. The aircraft and personnel will remain in Europe for several weeks. The F-35A will also forward deploy to maximize training opportunities, strengthen the NATO alliance and gain a broad familiarity of Europe`s diverse operating conditions.

Fifth-Generation Fighter

"This is an incredible opportunity for [U.S. Air Forces in Europe] airmen and our NATO allies to host this first overseas training deployment of the F-35A aircraft," said Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of USAFE and Air Forces Africa. "As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it`s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations.

The introduction of the premier fifth-generation fighter to Europe brings state-of-the-art sensors, interoperability and a vast array of advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions that will help maintain the fundamental territorial and air sovereignty rights of all nations. The fighter provides unprecedented precision-attack capability against current and emerging threats with unmatched lethality, survivability and interoperability.

The deployment was supported by the U.S. Air Force`s Air Mobility Command. Multiple refueling aircraft from four different bases provided more than 400,000 pounds of fuel during the "tanker bridge" from the United States to Europe. Additionally, C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy aircraft transported maintenance equipment and personnel to England.

https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1153234/f-35a-lighting-ii-joint-strike-fighter-aircraft-arrive-in-europe/

Photo Credit: Wikipedia