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US sends newest F-35 stealth fighters to Europe

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00:55 - Source: CNN
Watch US F-35 jet fighters arrive in Europe (2017)

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F-35 jets deploy from Utah for training mission in Europe

Deployment part of European Reassurance Initiative

CNN —  

The US Air Force’s newest stealth fighters arrived in the UK over the weekend as part of the Pentagon’s effort to reassure European allies in the face of Russian aggression on the continent.

The F-35A jets from Hill Air Force Base in Utah landed at RAF Lakenheath on Saturday for what the Air Force said was several weeks of training with other US aircraft and crews and those from North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies.

“As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations,” Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of US Air Forces in Europe, said in a statement.

The Air Force said the F-35s were deploying to support the European Reassurance Initiative, a multibillion dollar program started under President Obama in 2014 to show support for US allies after Russia annexed the Crimea from Ukraine.