F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, fly in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range, March 30, 2017. Pentagon officials announced April 14, 2017, that the Air Force is deploying a small number of F-35A fighters to Europe for training. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)
Defense News: US Air Force F-35s making first operational deployment to Europe this weekend
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s F-35A is deploying internationally for the first time this weekend, heading to Europe to conduct training exercises with NATO allies, the Pentagon announced Friday.
The Defense Department offered sparse details about the event, which will involve deploying a “small number” of F-35As from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to an undisclosed location in Europe.
The joint strike fighters will take off sometime this weekend. After landing, they will then spend several weeks in the region as part of the European Reassurance Initiative, the department’s effort to strengthen military ties with European allies to help deter Russian aggression on the continent.
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