The U.S. Air Force is deploying a half-dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets to Poland as part of the latest effort to protect NATO allies against Russia.
Six F-22s assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska already arrived at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, on July 26, en route to Poland as part of the latest effort to protect NATO allies against Russian land grabs following the invasion of Ukraine.
The NATO summit in Madrid last month reinforced that countries needed to do more to convince Russia not to try to claim more territory beyond its borders. Two countries on Russia’s doorstep, Finland and Sweden, are in the process of joining NATO, hoping the alliance can provide greater security.
The Raptor is a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force and is designed to project air dominance rapidly at great distances to defeat emerging threats.
“The F-22s will support the NATO Air Shielding mission in the European theater,” the Air Force said in a release.
Adding the Air Force’s F-22s, the service’s most advanced fighter aircraft which can reach supersonic speeds and carry a variety of guided missiles and bombs sends a serious sign to Russia that NATO is keeping a close eye on its borders.
“It cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft, making it a highly strategic platform to support NATO Air Shielding,” the press release from U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa said.
The U.S. and allies are hoping to offer direct aid to Ukraine in the near future in the form of modern jets and training.
U.S. House lawmakers recently approved $100 million as part of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act to train Ukrainian pilots to fly U.S. fighter jets as the campaign against Russia rolls into the fifth month.