U.S. F-35 Fighters Arrive in Estonia Amid NATO Buildup
A detachment of F-35 Lightning II fighters from the United States has arrived at Amari airbase in Estonia to take part in training exercises aimed at “deterring” Russia.
The stealth fighter jets landed in the Baltic country on Tuesday, where they were met by both foreign and local journalists as well as Estonian Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna. The aircraft are due to stay in the region for several weeks, the Estonian MoD confirmed to Postimees, during which time it will conduct training exercises with other US and NATO aircraft.
The F-35s will be later sent to Romania, another NATO ally, a military official told CNN. These deployments are part of the European Reassurance Initiative, a US build-up of troops and weapons in Europe launched in 2014 to “deter Russian aggression.” According to the Estonian news outlet ERR, the US plans to permanently station F-35s in Europe from 2020.
The fighters were earlier deployed to England, where they arrived at Lakenheath Royal Air Force Base on April 15, having made the journey from Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The deployment marked the first time American F-35A fighter jets have made an appearance in Europe, though a few countries already used them as part of their air fleet.
Read more: https://www.rt.com/news/386101-us-f35-arrive-estonia/