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The US Air Force F-35 Lightning II aircraft will support reinforced NATO air policing missions from Estonia, Lithuania and Romania.
“We are facing a dynamic environment, and the deployment of the F-35 on NATO’s eastern flank strengthens our defensive stance and strengthens Alliance engagement,” said General Jeff Harigian. US Air Force in Europe – Commander of the African Air Force, the report said.
This came after Defense Minister Lloyd Austin on Thursday ordered approximately 7,000 additional troops to Europe, bringing the total number of troops to 15,000 that have been deployed in recent days and weeks.
“We have moved other forces in Europe to reassure our allies and deter Russian aggression against NATO,” Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby said Thursday night.
More than 90 000 The US military is now in Europe.
In addition to the six U.S. F-35 fighters, 20 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters are also being deployed from Germany to the Baltic region and a dozen AH-64 helicopters from Greece to Poland.
Russian troops and tanks invaded Ukraine from the north, south and east on Thursday morning when Russian fighters launched air strikes on military facilities.
According to Axios, as of 22:00 on Thursday, Russian troops were 20 miles from Kiev, Austin told lawmakers. Explosions were heard in the capital as Russian forces approached.
The United States is also looking for ways to distance train Ukrainian troops and provide the country with additional equipment, Austin told lawmakers.
On Thursday, Biden announced a new round of sanctions on Russian banks, state business, oligarchs and the high-tech sector, but repeatedly stressed that US forces would not fight Russia in Ukraine, which is not part of NATO.
“Our forces are not and will not be involved in the conflict with Russia in Ukraine. Our forces are not going to Europe to fight in Ukraine, but to protect our NATO allies and reassure these allies in the east,” Biden told a news conference. Thursday.
“As I said crystal clear, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with all the might of American power. And the good news is: NATO is more united and more determined than ever.”