11:16 Apr. 26, 2016
Washington strives to supporting NATO's allies in view of increasing Russian aggression
Two highly advanced U.S. fighters flew to the Black Sea on Monday, April 25, for the first time since Washington declared it would beef up military support for NATO's eastern European allies who are currently facing aggression from Russia, according to Reuters.
"We're here today to demonstrate our capability to take the F-22 anywhere needed in NATO or across Europe," said Squadron commander Daniel Lehoski.
"The increased size of the 2016 deployment ... allows U.S. Forces to assert their presence more widely across the eastern frontier," said U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Major Sheryll Klinkel.
The F-22s are are almost impossible to detect on radar and so advanced that the U.S. Congress has banned selling them abroad. 12 fighters are currently deployed at a military base in the U.K.
The West is seeking to bolster the defences of its eastern flank and reassure eastern European NATO members - Poland, the Baltic states, and Czech republic which spent decades under Soviet dominance - without provoking the Kremlin by stationing large forces permanently.