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U.S. To Deploy F-22 Fighter Jets To Reassure East European Allies

F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters

F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters

The United States will deploy F-22 fighter jets to Europe soon to support Eastern European members of the NATO alliance unnerved by Russia's intervention in Ukraine, Air Force Secretary Deborah James said on August 24.

It would be the first deployment of the F-22 to Europe outside air shows.

The Air Force has already been using radar-evading F-22s to carry out some attacks against Islamic State sites, the first real combat air strikes by the jets.

"Russia's military activity in the Ukraine continues to be of great concern to us and to our European allies," James told a news conference at the Pentagon. "For the Air Force, an F-22 deployment is certainly on the strong side of the coin."

Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh James said the F-22's inaugural deployment in Europe would allow U.S. forces to train with NATO partners across Europe, testing the ability of the jets to communicate and fight together with the Eurofighter and other advanced warplanes.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters