Fighter Jets Deployed To Europe To Show American Commitment While Russians Buzz U.S. Navy Warship

Jinger Jarrett

The United States sent F-22 fighter jets to Europe to bolster the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance. The F-22 Raptors are the most stealthy fighter jets in the U.S. Air Force inventory. No word has been given on how many planes were deployed or how many airmen will be needed to support the planes while they are there.

Military reported that the planes landed at Royal Air Base Lakenheath in Great Britain. The fifth generation fighter jets will be conducting training exercises until next month to enhance commitments to the European alliance while stabilizing regional security.

The F-22s are assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. They will deploy from Lakenheath to air bases throughout Europe. This is their second deployment to Europe in a year as they deployed last summer in support of training exercises in Europe.

— TimBetaPontos (@TIM_BETA_1981) April 12, 2016

"It was intended to provide 'a persistent U.S. air, land, and sea presence in the region, especially in Central and Eastern Europe' for NATO allies 'deeply concerned by Russia's occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea and other provocative actions in Ukraine.'"

— Adam (@adambadger) August 30, 2015

A defense official said that the move was so aggressive that it created a wake in the water when it passed over. The move came at the same time that a Polish helicopter was taking off from the deck of the destroyer. The Polish helicopter was also conducting routine training operations during the incident.

Right after the maneuver, a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter flew over the warship and took photos of it. The helicopter is traditionally designed to take out submarines. The USS Donald Cook was conducting routine training operations approximately 70 nautical miles from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

— Niek van der Zande (@NiekvdZ) August 29, 2015

"This is more aggressive than anything we've seen in some time."

The White House issued a statement about the close call, condemning Russia for a series of clashes between Russian military and U.S. forces.

"There have been repeated incidents over the last year where the Russian military, including Russian military aircraft, have come close enough to each other or have come close enough to other air and sea traffic to raise serious safety concerns, and we continue to be concerned about this behavior."

[Photo via U.S. Air Force]