US to send more fighter jets to Poland amid tensions with Russia

US to send more fighter jets to Poland amid tensions with Russia
# 10 April 2014 20:11 (UTC +04:00)

The officials said on Wednesday that F-16s from Germany’s Spangdahlem Air Base are also to participate in the training program in Lask Air Base, where F-16s from Italy’s Aviano Air Base have already been deployed.

Moreover, Britain’s Royal Air Force Mildenhall will deploy two KC-135 refueling tankers to Powidz for the exercises, which are scheduled for June.

The warplanes were ordered to Poland at the request of the country following the escalation of tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine.

The announcement of the planned long-term training program comes against the backdrop of the US’s efforts to “reassure NATO allies” following the secession of Crimea from Ukraine to join Russia.

Meanwhile, the guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook, dispatched earlier to the Black Sea, is expected to arrive in the Sea on Thursday.

It is the third time in the past three months that a US warship is deployed to the Black Sea.

US Naval Forces Europe-Africa said in a statement that “Donald Cook’s mission is to reassure NATO allies of the U.S. Navy’s commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working toward mutual goals in the region.”

On Wednesday, NATO’s top military commander in Europe said American troops may be deployed to the alliance’s member states in Eastern Europe.

“Essentially what we are looking at is a package of land, air and maritime measures that would build assurance for our easternmost allies,” US Air Force General Philip Breedlove said.

Tensions between Moscow and the West remained high since Crimea separated from Ukraine and requested to join Russia after a referendum on March 16, in which nearly 97 percent of the participants voted for rejoining Russia. Russia subsequently accepted Crimea’s request.

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