USAF May Send F-22s To Europe For Countering Russia

  • Our Bureau
  • 07:53 AM, June 17, 2015
  • 2998

The US Air Force Secretary Deborah James said the US could deploy a squadron of F-22 Raptor fighter jets to Europe in response to the Russia aggression in the region, various media reported Monday.

The Air Force has sent two theatre security packages made up of A-10s and F-15Cs to Europe. Those two units are scheduled to spend six months in Europe flying missions across the continent.

Possibly more units, including an F-22 unit, would take part in the rotational forces to Europe, James added.

Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of US Air Forces in Europe, said previously that his command had not received the priority needed to receive a theater security package because of pressing needs elsewhere.

"Prior to the Ukraine, we were not able to get theater security packages because of other priorities in the world, but this year we were able to prioritize two theater security packages," he said. The theater security packages are deployed for six months.

Currently, the US has 65,000 active-duty service members stationed in Europe, with the majority made up of airmen and soldiers.

The Air Force secretary, however, did not rule out increasing the assigned head count. "It's always a possibility, but there's no plan at this time to do that. The plan at this time is to do increased levels of rotations," James said.

She said that she is discussing with allied leaders about maintaining defense spending while also reassuring those NATO allies that they will receive support from the US because of Russia's tactics.

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