USAF Raptors arrive in UK en route to NATO ‘Air Shielding’ in Poland
US Air Force F-22 Raptor fighters landed at a UK Royal Air Force base days before they will fly on to NATO’s Air Shielding mission at the 32nd Tactical Air Base in Łask, Poland.
A total of six F-22 aircraft from the 90th Fighter Squadron 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, arrived at England’s Lakenheath base, according to local media reports. The unit will serve as the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron for the event.
“The US pilots would patrol the Polish skies and train with their Polish colleagues,” Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak said in an interview with local broadcaster Polskie Radio.
NATO Air Shielding
The Air Shielding mission is being conducted to modify allied air and surface missile capabilities with the Integrated Air and Missile Defence system under NATO Command and Control standards.
This initiative bolsters NATO members from the Baltic to Black Seas with a seamless shield for the protection and safety of Alliance territory, its population, and forces against air and ground-based missile threats.
The role of the F-22 Raptors is to provide persistence and lethality support against any hostile systems. The planes could operate in both air-to-ground and air-to-air combat.