National Guard F-15 Eagles Deployed to Iceland and Estonia
Twelve F-15C Eagle fighters of the United States Air National Guard, along with ca. 350 soldiers, arrived in Europe, as a part of the so called Theater Security Package. The deployment is to reinforce the American presence in Europe, within the framework of the Operation Atlantic Resolve. The fighters landed in Iceland and in the Netherlands. During their six months long rotation they are also going to operate from airbases in other countries, including Bulgaria, Estonia and Romania.
The jets landed in Europe on the 1st day of April, after they had completed a long-haul transatlantic flight. Deployment consists of 2 groups. First includes the personnel from the 131st Fighter Squadron of the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts, while the second group consists of the troops hailing from the 194th Fighter Squadron, stationed at the Fresno Air National Guard Base in California. Both groups are going to remain in Europe until September 2016.
Jets of the 194th Fighter Squadron are currently staying at the Dutch Leeuwarden base. Being stationed there, the Eagles will get involved in the NATO Frisian Flag exercise, the goal of which is to expand the interoperability of the NATO air forces. Meanwhile, Eagles from the 131st Squadron became a part of the NATO mission in Iceland. Since Iceland has no fighters at its disposal, air policing there is realized in a manner similar to the one applied in the Baltic States. The aircraft will also be operating, within the planned exercises, from Central Europe. The jets will be sent to the Estonian Ämari Air Base and to Romania and Bulgaria.
READ MORE: US A-10 Warthogs Conduct Austere Airfield Training in Poland.
US National Guard deployed its fighter assets in Europe within the framework of the Theater Security Package. These units are, being normally stationed in CONUS, in a temporary way, supporting the US Air Force in Europe. Operational activities of this type have begun last year. Besides the F-15 jets, they also involved the A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft which have been operating from Poland as well. Similar operations, in the Pacific region, have been carried out regularly since 2004.