RAMSTEIN, Germany - United States Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jets arrived at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom, on July 27 en route to the 32nd Tactical Air Base, Łask, Poland, to support NATO's Air Shielding mission.
The F-22 Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions and its fifth generation capability contributes to the Air Shielding mission enhancing interoperability and cohesion among Allied nations. Integration with NATO Allies and Partners further demonstrates the Alliance's dedication to deter and defend in an increasingly complex and changing security environment.
A United States Air Force F-22 Raptor touching down at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom. Photo courtesy: United States Air Force
The United States F22s are en route to the 32nd Tactical Air Base, Łask, Poland, to support NATO Air Shielding mission. Photo courtesy: United States Air Force
The US deployment of their fifth generation fighter aircraft boosts NATO's posture for assurance, deterrence and defence in Europe. Together with other Allies' contributions this deployment is a clear expression of NATO's commitment to readiness which promotes regional security and stability.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been an increased use of missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and combat aircraft close to the borders of NATO nations. This increases the air and missile threat to NATO territory and populations, primarily due to potential miscalculation or loss of guidance or control.
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.