USAF deploys two F-22 Raptors and one KC-135 Stratotanker to Romania
The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed two F-22 Raptors and one KC-135 Stratotanker to Romania in a bid to closely monitor Russian activities in the Black Sea.
The USAF has deployed F-22s and nearly 20 supporting airmen from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB), Florida and KC-135 from the 916th Air Refueling Wing deployed from Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina to Romania's Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base (AB).
The deployment of F-22 aircrafts is partially funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, which provides support to bolster the security of NATO allies and partners in Europe.
USAF aircraft and airmen will conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft, while in Europe.
USAF Europe and Air Forces Africa commander General Frank Gorenc said: "It's important we test our infrastructure, aircraft capabilities, and the talented Airmen and allies who will host these aircraft in Europe.
"This deployment advances our airpower evolution and demonstrates our resolve and commitment to European safety and security."
The F-22s will remain at Mihail Kogalniceanu AB for a brief period of time before returning to Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, to continue their training deployment.
The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation, single-seat, twin-engine, all-weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft, while KC-135 Stratotanker is a military aerial refuelling aircraft from Boeing.
Third Air Force commander Lieutenant General Timothy Ray said: "Today, we rapidly deployed these aircraft, along with a KC-135 Stratotanker, here to showcase our flexible response and our range of capabilities.
"These aircraft have the ability to project air dominance quickly, at great distances, to defeat any possible threat.
Image: Two F-22s deployed to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson.