Tag Archives: U.S. Air Force

Whilst everyone watched the F-22s arriving in Germany, U.S. Predator drones deployed to Latvia

“This is not a one-time operating zone. We created an airspace arrangement that is enduring, so when we need to go back, it will be available.”

Whilst the majority of aviation enthusiasts and media watched four F-22s deploy to Europe for the first time, another quite interesting and significant deployment took place in a Baltic State.

In fact, according to the U.S. Air Force, two MQ-1 Predator drones and approximately 70 Airmen deployed to Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia beginning on Aug. 24 for a temporary deployment that will continue through mid-September.

The deployment aims to test the ability of 147th Reconnaissance Wing of the Texas Air National Guard based in Ellington Field in Houston, Texas to forward deploy, and to conduct air operations with the RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) “while [as usual] assuring NATO allies of our commitment to regional security and stability.”

As for the F-22s, that deployed in accordance with the Rapid Raptor Package concept, the deployment had to prove the unit’s ability to prepare, deploy, setup shop, fly and exercise all of the agreements, arrangements and relationships required to make this happen: key words are responsive and flexible operations.

“It validates basing and airspace arrangements, operations and host-nation agreements in a very real way,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Recker from the operations directorate at U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Headquarters in a release.

“This will test mobility, maintenance and logisticians arranging airlift,” he said. “Personnel have to make decisions about bandwidth, satellite communication, frequency allocation and frequency clearing.”

Interestingly, “This is not a one-time operating zone. We created an airspace arrangement that is enduring, so when we need to go back, it will be available,” said Recker.

During the deployment, Predators will not be involved in intelligence gathering missions, but will test ability to collect and share intelligence with other NATO allies.

But plans are to do something more, like Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) training: MQ-1 drones will collect intelligence that will be distributed to NATO JTACs so that they will be able to call in airstrikes of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack planes.

So, the military build-up in Europe continues with F-22s and MQ-1s performing brief deployments to test and validate their ability to reach the Old Continent in timely fashion, and to lay the foundations of longer presence of stealth jets and drones around eastern European nations threatened by Russia.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth jets currently in Germany to move to Poland on Monday

It looks like the F-22s may move to Poland. Soon.

According to the Polish Media outlet Głos Wielkopolski, the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighters belonging to the 95th Fighter Squadron, from Tyndall Air Force Base, that arrived at Spangdahlem airbase on Aug. 28, will be deployed to Poland next Monday Aug. 31.

The U.S. jets are going to be involved in joint training with the Polish F-16 fighters and information published by Głos Wielkopolski suggests that the Raptors are going to be stationed at the Polish 32 AB in Łask (a news confirmed by the base spokesman according to Scramble).

The arrival of the four F-22s marks the beginning of the inaugural Rapid Raptor package deployment in Europe: the type has often taken part in rotational deployments in the Asia-Pacific region since 2009, to show the presence of Washington’s 5th generation stealth jet around the disputed islands in the South China Sea, while some are also taking parting in the air war against ISIS.

Some analysts speculate the Raptors were not deployed in Europe earlier because of the risk of close encounters with Russian ELINT jets above the Baltics and the resulting disclosure of some sensitive information pertaining the Raptor, a risk the stealth jet face all around the world, actually.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

Stunning photos of the F-22s departing at night from Tyndall AFB for their first deployment in Europe

“Tabor 11” taking off at night for the F-22A inaugural deployment to Europe.

We have already posted some cool pictures of the F-22s arriving in Germany on Aug. 28. Here are some stunning photographs of the 95th Fighter Squadron Raptors taking off from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

Six aircraft departed Tyndall for Spangdahlem: the four Raptors that eventually landed in Germany along with two air spares.

A 95th Fighter Squadron F-22 Raptor accelerates as it takes off of the Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., flightline. Four 95th FS Raptors flew to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allied air forces and U.S. services through mid-September. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa/Released)

A 95th Fighter Squadron F-22 Raptor accelerates as it takes off of the Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., flightline. Four 95th FS Raptors flew to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allied air forces and U.S. services through mid-September. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa/Released)

In pictures, F-22A stealth fighters arrive in Germany for Raptor’s inaugural deployment to Europe

Here are the most interesting images of the four F-22A jets that have arrived in Germany earlier today.

On Aug. 28, four F-22A Raptor jets belonging to 325th Fighter Wing, from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, have arrived at Spangdahlem airbase, Germany.

Rather than a show of force against Russia, the deployment was a testbed for the new rapid deployment concept (dubbed “Rapid Raptor Package“) to move a package of F-22s (accompanied by a C-17) and supporting logistics to any forward operating base and have the 5th generation multi-role fighter jets ready for combat operations within 24 hours of deploying with a small logistics footprint.

Here are the most interesting images showing the four Raptors arriving in Germany. The F-22 deployment will continue through mid September for training with USAFE.

Four F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly over the runway before landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Four F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly over the runway before landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Three F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly over the runway before landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Three F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly over the runway before landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepare to land on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepare to land on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft prepare to land at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. Four F-22s from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., along with a C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft and more than 50 support Airmen were part of the deployment. This effort is part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will serve to assure allies of the Air Force’s commitment to European security and stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft prepare to land at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. Four F-22s from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., along with a C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft and more than 50 support Airmen were part of the deployment. This effort is part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will serve to assure allies of the Air Force’s commitment to European security and stability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to land on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to land on the runway at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two Airmen watch as an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to land at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two Airmen watch as an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to land at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft lands at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft while demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft lands at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft while demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

Four F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft taxi after landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft while demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

Four F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft taxi after landing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the European Reassurance Initiative and will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft while demonstrating U.S. commitment to NATO allies and the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taxi to hardened aircraft shelters at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taxi to hardened aircraft shelters at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., sits outside a hardened aircraft shelter at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., sits outside a hardened aircraft shelter at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to exit an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Barack Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to exit an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Barack Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to exit an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Barack Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., prepares to exit an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Barack Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., exits an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., exits an F-22 at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., sits in the cockpit of an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., sits in the cockpit of an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., observes an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., observes an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., observes an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A member of the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., observes an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taxi to hardened aircraft shelters at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., taxi to hardened aircraft shelters at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Aug. 28, 2015. The U.S. Air Force deployed four F-22s, one C-17 Globemaster III and more than 50 Airmen to Spangdahlem in support of the first F-22 European training deployment. The inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion pledge announced by President Obama in March 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

F-22 deployment to Europe underway: 4 Raptors currently heading to Germany

Tyndall F-22s expected at Spangdahlem airbase, Germany, later today.

Four F-22A Raptor stealth jets will arrive at Spangdahlem airbase later today, to start the deployment in Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The aircraft, belonging to 325th Fighter Wing, from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and using radio callsign “Tabor 11” are accompained by two air spares and supported by several tankers along the way according to the information posted by some very well informed users on Scramble forum.

As happened to the first A-10 Theater Security Package in May, Spangdahlem is going to be the first stop for the U.S. Raptors that are expected to visit other eastern Europe airbases.

Newsworthy, the deployment comes just few days after it was announced by Air Force Secretary Deborah James, a sign that a small package of 4 F-22s can be deployed across the world quite quickly: as already explained, in 2013 the U.S. Air Force conceived a new rapid deployment concept (dubbed “Rapid Raptor Package“) to deploy a package of F-22s (accompanied by a C-17) and supporting logistics to any forward operating base and have the stealth fighter jet ready for combat operations within 24 hours of deploying with a small logistics footprint.

Actually, this is not the very first deployment of Raptors in Europe: four Raptors deployed to support the F-22 appearance at Farnborough and RIAT airshows (more or less like the F-35s were expected to do last year before they were grounded and forced to cancel) in July 2010. So it was a sort of airshow deployment that involved four 3rd Wing F-22s at RAF Lakenheath for a couple of weeks.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force