The Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft, the F-22 Raptor has arrived at RAF Lakenheath, England, in route to the 32nd Tactical Air Base, Łask, Poland, to support NATO Air Shielding in the European Theater. The aircraft are from the 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson, Alaska, and will be supporting Air Shielding as the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.
The NATO Air Shielding mission integrates Allied Air and Surface Based Air and Missile Defence units into the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence system under NATO Command and Control. It will provide a near seamless shield from the Baltic to Black Seas, ensuring NATO Allies are better able to safeguard and protect Alliance territory, populations and forces from air and missile threat.
The fifth generation capability contributes to the Air Shielding mission with its ability to provide lethality and survivability against any emerging high end threats. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force. Integration with NATO Allies and Partners further demonstrates the Alliance’s dedication to deter and defend in an increasingly complex and changing security environment.
The Raptor is a critical component of the global strike Task Force, and designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances to defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation’s Army, Navy and Marine Corps. It cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft, making it a highly strategic platform to support NATO Air Shielding.
The U.S. remains dedicated to our security commitments with our NATO Alliance and global Partners and this enhanced posture is a clear expression of NATO’s commitment to readiness which promotes regional security and stability.