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September 8, 2015

USAF deploys F-22 Raptors and KC-135 Stratotanker to Estonia

The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed two F-22 Raptors and a KC-135 Stratotanker to Ämari Air Base, Estonia, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe.

By Samseer M

F-22 Raptor

The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed two F-22 Raptors and a KC-135 Stratotanker to Ämari Air Base, Estonia, as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe.

Around 20 supporting airmen for F-22s from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, were also included. The KC-135 deployed to Ämari is from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at the UK Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England.

This forward deployment is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative that offers support to strengthen the security of the US Nato allies and partners in Europe.

According to the USAF, the F-22s will remain at Ämari AB for a short period of time and later return to Spangdahlem AB, Germany, in order to continue their training deployment.

"This forward deployment is funded by the European Reassurance Initiative that offers support to strengthen the security of the US Nato allies and partners in Europe."

Recently, the USAF deployed four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and around 60 airmen to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train allied air forces and US services through mid-September.

The latest F-22 forward deployment to Ämari AB is conducted in coordination with the US’ Estonian allies.

In August, the USAF deployed eight A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and around 170 airmen to Ämari Air Base, Estonia, as part of the country’s effort to support Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Operation Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued US commitment to the collective security of Nato and to enduring peace and stability in the region, in the wake of Russia’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.


Image: An F-22 Raptor takes off from Amari Air Base, Estonia. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane.

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