The Air Force is sending the F-35A to Europe to train with NATO allies. This will be the first time the F-35A variant will go to Europe. Only a ‘small number’ of aircraft will be making the trip from Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

In December, then-Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James hinted that a rotation of F-35s would deploy to Europe amid security threats from Russia. She said after being approved to fly initial operations in August, the F-35 would be ready to deploy to the European theater next summer in line with how “allies expect it will transform the battlefield, even in the … anti-access area denial environment,” she said.

Officials also plan an F-35 theater security package rotation, or TSP, to the Asia-Pacific region soon. Such a rotation includes forward-deployed aircraft and units that conduct missions across the continent over six months to reassure allies. –

The F-35s were scheduled to leave this past weekend going to yet to be announced locations. Last year the F-22 Raptor made a similar training deployment to Europe.

Featured image of Hill Air Force Base F-35A Lightning IIs flying in formation over the Utah Test and Training Range, March 30, 2017. Photo by R. Nial Bradshaw, US Air Force


This article is courtesy of Fighter Sweep.