Air National Guard F-15Cs and airmen are headed to Europe to augment U.S. forces on the Continent, part of ongoing efforts to boost peace and stability in the region while deterring Russian aggression in eastern Europe.

Twelve F-15C Eagles and about 350 airmen and support equipment were to begin deploying Friday from their home stations, said Capt. Lauren Ott, a spokeswoman for U.S. Air Forces in Europe–Air Forces Africa. The aircraft and airmen are from the 131st Fighter Squadron at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass., and the 194th Fighter Squadron at Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif.

They are deploying as a Theater Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, with the airmen expected to remain in Europe for about six months.

The first Theater Security Package for Operation Atlantic Resolve — the U.S. effort to show its commitment to NATO and deter Russian aggression since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine two years ago — deployed to Europe in February 2014. The rotational forces are intended to augment existing Air Force capabilities in Europe.

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Featured Image: Air National Guard F-15C Eagles assigned to the 131st Fighter Squadron, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Mass. and the 194th Fighter Squadron, Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif., fly beside a KC-135 Stratotanker Feb. 11, 2016, after refueling.Twelve F-15C Eagles and approximately 350 airmen and support equipment from the two squadrons will deploy to the European theater beginning April 1, 2016.
BURT TRAYNOR/U.S. AIR FORCE.

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