WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Four US F-22 tactical fighter jets meant to bolster NATO have arrived at the Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany to begin training exercises, the US Air Force announced in a Friday press release.
"This inaugural Raptor training deployment is the perfect opportunity for these advanced aircraft to train alongside other US Air Force aircraft, joint partners, and NATO allies," Allied Air Command Commander General Frank Gorenc said.
The training mission is being funded by the European Reassurance Initiative and is intended to provide security reassurances to NATO allies and partners in Europe.
In June, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James announced that she was considering sending F-22’s to Europe in face of what she characterized as a Russian threat.
The F-22 Raptor is the only fifth generation fighter jet in the world that is fully operational, according to the aircraft manufactuer Lockheed Martin. The jet includes advanced stealth technology and highly-integrated computer systems.