Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors deploy to Romania for the first time
Two F-22 Raptors and one KC-135 Stratotanker arrived in Romania.
Two F-22s and approximately 20 supporting Airmen, with the 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, arrived at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania, on the on Apr. 25.
The F-22s belong to the contingent (the largest Raptor deployment to Europe to date ) recently deployed to RAF Lakenheath, UK, and will remain at the Romanian airbase on the Black Sea coast, for a brief period of time before returning to the UK, to continue their training deployment.
“Today, we rapidly deployed these aircraft, along with a KC-135 Stratotanker, here to showcase our flexible response and our range of capabilities,” Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray, 3rd Air Force commander, said in a U.S. Air Force release.
“These aircraft have the ability to project air dominance quickly, at great distances, to defeat any possible threat.”
“It’s important we test our infrastructure, aircraft capabilities, and the talented Airmen and allies who will host these aircraft in Europe,” said Gen. Frank Gorenc, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “This deployment advances our airpower evolution and demonstrates our resolve and commitment to European safety and security.”
12 F-22s deployed to Europe (three sections of 4 Raptors) along with ANG F-15s in the last few weeks to deter further Russian aggression: four Raptors took part in the flyover for the 100th anniversary of LaFayette Escadrille whereas the F-15s have taken part in Frisian Flag exercise before heading to Bulgaria.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force