Russian saber rattling is about to get a sharp and pointed response from the US military, as reports are coming in that the Pentagon will add a rotation of F-22 Raptors to the "European Reassurance Initiative," which itself is part of NATO's Operation Atlantic Resolve.
"Today we are announcing that we will very soon deploy F-22s to Europe to support combatant commander requirements and as part of the European Reassurance Initiative," Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said, according to IHS Jane's 360.
"Russia's military activity in the Ukraine continues to be of great concern to us and to our European allies," the SecAF said. "Rotational forces and training exercises help us to maintain our strong and balanced approach. For the air force, an F-22 deployment is certainly on the strong side of the line."
The F-22 is only the most recent aircraft to be added to the European rotation. Earlier this summer, the USAF shifted a trio of B-52 Stratofortress and two B-2 Spirit bombers to the UK, while eight A-10 Warthogs were parked in Estonia, a Baltic country that shares a border with Russia. On top of the unspecified number of Raptors, an additional 12 A-10s will ship to Europe, IHS Jane's 360 reports.