F-35s arrive in Lithuania as Operation Rapid Forge continues
Story by CPT Selena Rodts on 07/18/2019
F-35A Lightning II fighter jets arrived at Siauilai Air Base, Lithuania, today as part of Operation Rapid Forge, along with F-15E Strike Eagles and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. 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 also deployed to bases in Poland and Estonia today as part of the exercise.
F-15E Strike Eagles and MC-130J Commando II aircraft arrived at Amari AB, Estonia, to conduct refueling operations. C-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrived at Powidz Air Base, Poland.
The ability to operate at forward locations enables collective defense capabilities and provides the U.S. and NATO allies the strategic and operational breadth needed to deter adversaries and assure our allies and partners.
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 Air Force Base, 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.