Two US F-22 Raptors landed in the United Kingdom on Wednesday to train with US and NATO aircraft stationed in Europe, Air Force Technology reports.
“The deployment of fifth-generation combat aircraft to the European Area of Responsibility (AOR) is a concrete example of how the US is engaged, postured and ready with a credible force,” Gen. Tod D. Wolters told the news outlet, adding, “there is simply no substitute for our forward presence here in Europe.”
The Raptors made their inaugural training deployment to the area in August, 2015, according to an Air Force announcement. Six Raptors in total are stationed in the European AOR. The F-22s, along with some 150 airmen, took part in joint US-UK Eastern Zephyr exercises. The drills are aimed at bringing together a large number of fourth- and fifth-generation fighters in British airspace. The F-22s will fly alongside F-15C Eagles and F-15E Strike Eagles, the Air Force said in an October 19 announcement.
The training deployment is financed by the European Defense Initiative, a program within the the US Defense Department budget aimed at boosting readiness.