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F-35A and MC-130J aircraft arrive in Estonia as Operation Rapid Forge concludes

Release Number: 160719

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lighting II, assigned to the 421st Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, takes off at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 25, 2019, during Operation Rapid Forge. The U.S. Air Force is engaged, postured and ready with credible force to assure, deter and defend in an increasingly complex security environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lighting II, assigned to the 421st Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, takes off at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, July 25, 2019, during Operation Rapid Forge. The U.S. Air Force is engaged, postured and ready with credible force to assure, deter and defend in an increasingly complex security environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Branden Rae)


F-35A Lightning II fighter jets arrived at Amari Air Base, Estonia, today, along with MC-130J Commando II aircraft, for the final day of Rapid Forge operations. Rapid Forge is a U.S. Air Forces in Europe-sponsored training event designed to enhance interoperability with NATO allies and partners, improve readiness and sharpen operational capabilities.

Fighter and mobility aircraft again deployed to bases in Latvia and Poland today as part of the exercise.

F-15E Strike Eagles and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrived at Lielvarde AB, Latvia, and Powidz AB, Poland, to conduct refueling and rearming using inert munitions.

Participation in multinational exercises and operations like Rapid Forge enhances professional relationships and improves coordination between allies.

The F-35s are deployed from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings at Hill AFB, Utah. F-15E Strike Eagles are deployed from the 4th FW, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Both squadrons of fighter jets are operating out of Spangdahlem AB, Germany. The MC-130J aircraft are from the 352nd Special Operations Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, and the C-130J aircraft are from the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany, and from the 317th AW deployed to Ramstein from Dyess AFB, Texas.

Additional details on the training and imagery will be released as it is available. Rapid Forge is partially funded by the European Deterrence Initiative.