Two F-35A stealth jets and supporting personnel arrived at Ämari Air Base, Estonia this week.
The jets are participating in their first-ever training deployment to Europe.
The US Air Force were keen to stress that the deployment “has been planned for some time, has no relations to current events, and was conducted in close coordination with Estonian allies”.
They say that the deployment allows the F-35A to engage in familiarization training within the European theater while reassuring allies and partners of US dedication to the ‘enduring peace and stability of the region’.
This deployment maximizes training opportunities with our allies and partners and serves as a visible demonstration of the United States’ resolve to support NATO assurance measures.
This is the first overseas flying training deployment for the F-35A, signifying an important milestone and natural progression of the joint strike fighter programme. It is the perfect opportunity for the aircraft to train alongside US and allied aircraft in a realistic training environment while demonstrating its operational capabilities.
Also, the USAF say, it helps to integrate with NATO’s infrastructure and enhance 5th generation aircraft interoperability.
The aircraft and Airmen and are from the 34th Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing, and the Air Force Reserve’s 466th Fighter Squadron, 419th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.