U.S. Air Force F-35 Fighter Jets Arrive at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany
(Source: US Air Forces Europe; issued June 11, 2019)
US Air Force F-35A fighter aircraft from the 421st Fighter Squadron based at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, taxi on the flight-line at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, where they will be based for the duration of their summer-long deployment. (USAF photo)
SPANGDEHLEM, Germany --- The U.S. Air Force has deployed one squadron of F-35A Lightning II fighter aircraft, Airmen, and associated equipment to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings, at Hill AFB, Utah, to participate in exercises and conduct training with other Europe-based aircraft as part of a Theater Security Package.

Funded through the European Deterrence Initiative, the TSP provides a more robust U.S. military rotational presence in the European theater capable of deterring adversaries and assuring partners and allies of U.S. commitment to regional security.

The F-35s and members of the 421st and 466th Fighter Squadrons arrived at Aviano Air Base, Italy, on May 23, participated in the Astral Knight exercise, and have transitioned to Spangdahlem for the duration of their summer-long deployment.

The 388th FW is the Air Force's first combat-coded, or operational F-35A unit. This is their second deployment to Europe. The first was the 34th Fighter Squadron deployment to RAF Lakenheath, 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.

F-35s, along with F-22 Raptors, are the world's premier operational 5th-generation fighters, possessing a unique combination of stealth, speed, agility, and situational awareness along with lethal long-range, air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, making these aircraft the best air dominance fighters in the world.

The active-duty 388th FW and Air Force Reserve 419th FW are the Air Force's only combat-capable F-35 units, maintaining the jets in a Total Force partnership that utilizes the strengths of both components.

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U.S. F-35s Deploy to Spain to Participate in Tactical Leadership Programme Flying Course
(Source: US Air Forces Europe; issued June 10, 2019)
F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft have deployed to Los Llanos Air Base at Albacete, Spain, to participate in Tactical Leadership Programme flying course 19-2. The aircraft, pilots and supporting Airmen are deployed from the active duty 388th Fighter Wing and Reserve 419th FW at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

They are in Europe as part of a Theater Security Package, which is a rotational force that demonstrates U.S. commitment to our partners and allies and to enhancing regional security.

At the TLP course, the F-35s will conduct training with aircraft from other NATO countries, including Spain, Poland and Greece. This multilateral training course will focus on developing tactical air expertise, including integration of fourth and fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

Training events like this are essential to building cohesiveness and improving interoperability and tactical understanding among allied air forces.

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