Pentagon deploys F-35 stealth fighters to Italian airbase

  • 14:41 28 May 2019

Pentagon deploys F-35 stealth fighters to Italian airbase

F-35s from two fighter wings are set to take part in exercises and conduct routine training with other allied Europe-based aircraft, ONA reports citing Sputnik.

The Pentagon has deployed a squadron of F-35A Lightning stealth fighters to an Italian airbase to take part in drills as part of a European Theatre Security Package (TSP) mission.

The aircraft are from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, and have been deployed to NATO's Aviano Air Base in north-eastern Italy.

The F-35s and members of the 421st and 466th Fighter Squadrons arrived at the base on 24 May and will remain in Europe for several weeks, the US Air Force said in a press release.

"Funded through the European Deterrence Initiative, the TSP provides a more robust US military rotational presence in the European theatre capable of deterring adversaries and assuring partners and allies of US commitment to regional security," said Lt. Col. Richard Orzechowski, 421st Fighter Squadron commander.

This is the 388th Flight Wing's second mission to Europe, following a mission in England in April 2017. "The 421st FS is the newest F-35A squadron and this is their first deployment with the multi-role stealth fighter," the officer noted.