Theater security package arrives in Europe
By Tech Sgt. Staci Miller, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 27, 2017
LEEUWARDEN AIR BASE, Netherlands -- The 122nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron began its Theater Security Package mission this week in Leeuwarden Air Base, Netherlands, in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Approximately 300 Airmen and 12 F-15C Eagles from the Louisiana and Florida Air National Guard’s 159th EFS, deployed to conduct flying training alongside NATO allies with the goal of strengthening interoperability and enhancing regional security.
OAR is a demonstration of U.S. European Command and United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa's continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to the enduring peace and stability in the region.
“We're providing forward forces for commanders if they need them,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Fischer, 122 EFS commander. “We’re building partnerships with our NATO allies and looking to deter any potential Russian aggression.”
While in Leeuwarden, these aircraft are participating in the Royal Netherlands Air Force-led exercise, Frisian Flag. The purpose of Frisian Flag is to improve cooperation and capabilities between the multiple participating countries. Once completed, they will then forward deploy to locations in European NATO nations for approximately six months.
“We want to see what these other countries can do, how we can best integrate with them, show them what we can do and then look at those lessons learned and get better,” Fischer said.
The Air Force began conducting European TSP rotations in 2015 but the mission has been in the Pacific region since 2004. The Air Force has increased this rotational presence in Europe to reassure Allies and partner nations that the commitment to European security is a priority.
“Participating in TSPs allows us to build partnerships now in a training environment in case we need them in the real world,” Fischer said. “ We're happy to be here and we're excited to get started.”