The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to improve interoperability with its NATO allies.
A total of 300 airmen and support equipment will accompany the A-10. Its deployment represents first of the several theatre security package (TSP) that the US is scheduled to position in Europe as part of its support to the Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR ).
OAR is a demonstration of continued US commitment to the collective security of Nato and to enduring peace and stability in the region, in wake of Russia’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
US European Command spokesman Navy captain Greg Hicks said: "While in Germany, these aircraft will forward-deploy to locations in Eastern European Nato nations.
"Units will conduct training alongside our Nato allies to strengthen interoperability and to demonstrate US commitment to the security and stability of Europe."
USAFE and Air Forces Africa vice-commander air force lieutenant general Tom Jones said: "The air force has been rotating forces as a part of OAR for the past year.
"The [theatre security package] is another way the air force is increasing rotational presence in Europe to reassure our allies and partner nations that our commitment to European security is a priority.
"The US Air Force’s forward presence in Europe area provides the support infrastructure needed to increase our current force and build new and deeper partnerships across the continent."
The aircraft and airmen are scheduled to fulfilling the TSP mission, which is to augment US Air Forces in Europe’s existing OAR efforts by conducting flying training deployments and off-station training with Nato allies to further enhance interoperability, by the end of the month.
Image: US pilots prepare to take off in their A-10 Thunderbolt IIs to a simulated deployed location during training at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, US. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Senior Airman Jesse Shipps.