US deploys F-35 fighter jets to Germany
Several F-35A Lightning II fighter jets were deployed to Germany’s Spangdahlem Air Base on Wednesday to “deter aggression” and “defend allies should deterrence fail” as the US continues to wait for an “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The US Air Force Reserve Command announced in a statement that the fighter jets had been deployed to Germany “with the full cooperation of the German government” and that the aircraft “would bolster readiness, enhance NATO’s collective defense posture and further increase air integration capabilities with allied and partner nations.”
“The aircraft are equipped for a variety of missions to deter aggression and defend allies should deterrence fail,” it said.
Our reservists @HAFB have teamed with active duty Airmen in deploying @thef35 to Germany, where we will bolster readiness and security. The 419th and @388fw sent pilots, maintainers, and support personnel alongside the jets in a Total Force effort. Story: https://t.co/pKY499Cwklpic.twitter.com/16WB8BtzKu— 419th Fighter Wing (@419fw) February 16, 2022
While it remains unclear how many planes were relocated, 388th Fighter Wing commander Colonel Craig Andrle boasted that the deployment “proves we can provide our air force the capabilities of the F-35A anywhere in the world rapidly,” while General Jeff Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces in Europe, said the deployment “significantly enhances our support to NATO’s defenses.”
This week, the US also deployed six KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft to Germany’s Ramstein Air Base and eight F-15E strike fighters to Lask, Poland.
Since late October, Western officials and media outlets have suggested that the Kremlin is planning an invasion of Ukraine. In the past few weeks, suggestions that a war is imminent have become more frequent. This claim has been repeatedly denied by the Kremlin, and has also been played down by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan recently claimed that “an invasion could begin at any time,” and Western media have reported several possible invasion days, all of which have passed without any military activity.
In the meantime, the US has evacuated its embassy in Kiev and advised all Americans in Ukraine to depart the country as soon as possible, warning that conflict could soon break out. It was also reported that CIA officers stationed in Ukraine had been moved away from Kiev.