US, Polish and Italian jets lead NATO air defense mission

American, Italian and Polish warplanes carried out a series of aerial maneuvers in support of NATO’s air protection mission.

The planned one-day event involved the participation of Italian Eurofighter aircraft, F-16 fighter jets and MiG-29 aircraft from the Polish Air Force and F-22 Raptor aircraft from the United States Air Force (USAF).

The event was observed by international and Polish media, flying aboard two Polish Casa C-295 transport planes.

During the exercise, participating Allied warplanes conducted an intercept formation with another participating aircraft, simulating a series of steps NATO takes to counter a potential airborne threat.

This was followed by fighter aircraft performing coordinated precision aerial maneuvers, including close formation flying, escorts and interceptions, with a transport aircraft.

Lt. Col. Michael Kendall, commanding officer of the USAF 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, said: “This looks like an improved posture on the eastern flank of NATO territory, not only to deter our adversaries, but also to assure our allies that we are ready to respond to any threat. , at any time.

“Since entering the European theatre, we have integrated and trained with more than ten NATO allies, which has increased our interoperability and readiness, providing this region with credible and effective deterrence in a threat environment. evolving.”

The exercise aimed to hone participants’ planning and flying skills by exchanging techniques, tactics and procedures.

The USAF F-22 fighter detachment that took part in this exercise has been deployed to Lask Air Base (AB) since last August to strengthen transatlantic ties.

In addition, Lask AB is the home base for Polish F-16 aircraft and Italian Eurofighters joined the exercises from Malbork, where the detachment was deployed to support NATO’s enhanced air policing mission.

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