The U.S. Air Force is about to deploy its F-22 fighter jet to Europe to support its allies among increasing concerns regarding Russia's activity in Ukraine.
The F-22 is the U.S. Air Force's most powerful fighter jet and the upcoming deployment is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," as the U.S. wants to reiterate its commitment to support its allies.
At a recent Pentagon briefing, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James explains that the U.S. and its European allies are concerned about Russia's military activity in Ukraine. James also echoes Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who recently stated that a strong and balanced approach to Russia is paramount.
"This inaugural F-22 training deployment will train with our joint partners and our NATO allies across Europe as part of our continued effort to assure our allies and demonstrate our commitments to security and stability of Europe," James further notes.
The U.S. Air Force cannot reveal the exact dates or locations of this F-22 deployment due to security reasons, but it does note that the deployment is slated to occur soon and will include flying jets in and out of facilities that could be used in conflicts.
As Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh further points out, the F-22s deployment to Europe is part of the Pentagon's efforts to reassure its allies, not a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The U.S. is deploying its F-22 fighter jets everywhere it can train with its allies, and that's what the upcoming deployment aims: to train with European partners.
The F-22 stealth fighter jet, the Raptor, is a fifth-generation aircraft that allows for 24/7 operations without being detected, and is also capable of launching precision bombs on specific targets from a notable distance of up to 15 miles away. It can also achieve impressive speeds, great agility and creates a 360-degree battlespace awareness for the pilot. Its engines give the F-22 the capability to supercruise, or achieve Mach 1.5 speeds, without the use of afterburners.
"The F-22's all-aspect stealth and high speed / high altitude capability gives U.S. forces and allies an advantage that will endure well into the future. By incorporating revolutionary advances in technology, the F-22 is ready to dominate any and all adversaries from the outset of any conflict. This capability provides a critical edge to joint force commanders and acts as an effective deterrent to future adversaries," touts Lockheed Martin.