Military Capabilities

USAFE prepares for F-35

14 August 2019

An F-35A Lightning II taking off on the first day of Exercise ‘Astral Knight 2019’ at Aviano Air Base, Italy, on 3 June 2019. Source: USAF/Airman 1st Class Caleb House

US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) has been preparing to base F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in the UK through a series of activities with NATO countries, its commander has said.

General Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of USAFE, Air Forces Africa, and NATO's Allied Air Command (AIRCOM), told journalists during a telephone briefing on 13 August that the deployment of a squadron of US Air Force F-35s to Europe "allowed us to integrate this fifth generation platform into various exercises and training sorties with our allies and partners. These opportunities enhanced our overall ability to increase interoperability between US F-35s, allied F-35s, and fourth generation platforms, which ultimately will allow for seamless integration of our F-35s in Europe when they permanently arrive at RAF Lakenheath in 2021."

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