Europe, April 17: The US Air Force newest F-35s stealth fighters arrived in the Europe to deter Russian aggression. The joint strike fighters will spend several weeks in the region as part of the European Reassurance Initiative, a multibillion dollar program started under President Obama in 2014 to show support for US allies after Russia annexed the Crimea from Ukraine.
The F-35, with its stealth design and unparalleled information-sharing capabilities, represents a huge step up for US air power, as it can improve the performance of legacy planes it flies with.
"As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it's important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations," said Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of US Air Forces in Europe.
But earlier this year, Secretary of Defense James Mattis called the F-35 "critical" for US air superiority and praised it for its ability to integrate with allies who are buying the jet.
Many US allies have "bet their air superiority on the F-35 program. It bonds us tightly together with them," Mattis said.