Update: F-22 deployment to Europe

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The U.S. Air Force has deployed 12 F-22 Raptors and approximately 250 Airmen and associated equipment to Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.

The aircraft began arriving Monday from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, to conduct air training with other Europe-based aircraft until May.

"This F-22 training deployment is the perfect opportunity for these advanced aircraft to train alongside other U.S. Air Force aircraft, joint partners, and NATO allies," said General Frank Gorenc, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander.

The arrival of the squadron marks the largest F-22 deployment to Europe to date. During their time in Europe, the aircraft and Airmen will also participate in the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Lafayette Escadrille in Paris, France, April 20.

"It's important we test our infrastructure, aircraft capabilities, and the talented Airmen and allies who will host these aircraft in Europe," said Gorenc. "This deployment advances our airpower evolution and demonstrates our resolve and commitment to European safety and security."

The F-22s will also forward deploy from the U.K. to NATO bases to maximize training opportunities, which help streamline integrative response capabilities throughout the region. The deployment also serves to demonstrate U.S. dedication to NATO allies, and deter any actions that destabilize regional security.

For further information, contact U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa Public Affairs at +49 (0) 6371 47 6558 or via e-mail at: usafepao.pao@us.af.mil.  If after duty hours, call +49 0162-425-5428 or send e-mail to: usafepa.pastaffdutyofficer@us.af.mil.