US F-22 Raptor Fighters Reportedly Begin Training Flights in Estonia

A US Air Force F-22 Raptor from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and an F-16 Fighting Falcon from Eielson Air Force Base fly in formation over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, July 18, 2019InternationalIndiaAfricaHELSINKI (Sputnik) – US Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jets have begun training flights in Estonia, a local broadcaster reported on Wednesday. According to the report, 12 fighter jets were transferred from the United States to a Polish airbase for military drills in early April. Three of the fighters arrived at Estonia’s Amari airbase near Tallinn this week. The drills include the practice of quickly responding to threats in cooperation with other countries. US Ambassador in Estonia George Kent told the broadcaster that the fighters conduct joint flights with pilots from other countries. “This morning, the pilots flew down to Lithuania, and we’re working with Portuguese and Romanian pilots, and they hope, perhaps tomorrow, to be up in the air with British Typhoons also operating out of Amari. This is not the first time F-22s have visited Amari. I think the first time was in 2015, and I anticipate they will also be back. And that’s an issue for our two militaries to discuss the timing and purpose,” Kent said. According to the US Embassy in Estonia, the US has invested over 33 million euros ($36 million) in infrastructure at the Amari airbase since 2015. The latest facility built on the premises of the airbase was a fuel storage facility capable of storing some 2,000 cubic meters of fuel. Moreover, the US has built a dormitory housing about 220 servicepeople and an aircraft maintenance hangar. These projects have helped increase the capacity of the Amari airbase for operations in support of regional security, the embassy said.


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