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Unprecedented Show of Force: Europe Prepares for Massive Deployment of US Fighter Jets

Following Finland’s recent inclusion in NATO, the United States and Germany are getting ready for the most extensive deployment of US air forces to Europe since the establishment of the US-led security alliance in the Air Defender 2023 exercise.

The upcoming Air Defender 2023 exercise, as highlighted by Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, the director of the Air National Guard, will assess the “rapid deployment and rapid force deployment capability” of the Air National Guard, simulating a scenario similar to a potential spillover of the Ukraine conflict into NATO.

For the 10-day exercise in June, the Air National Guard will mobilize approximately 100 aircraft to Germany, including both retiring aircraft and newer models.

As Finland becomes a NATO member, they will participate in their first major NATO exercise during Air Defender 2023. Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, Chief of the German Air Force, noted that Finland will contribute its F/A-18 Super Hornets to the exercise, which will be mutually beneficial for both parties.

Finland’s inclusion in NATO effectively doubles the alliance’s border with Russia. According to Lt. Gen. Loh, Finland brings significant capabilities to the alliance, including agile combat employment and the construction of highway airstrips, enabling effective responses to conflict situations.

The Air Defender 2023 exercise, featuring Finland’s participation and the unprecedented deployment of US air forces in Europe, represents a historic moment for NATO. It underscores the cooperation and preparedness of member countries in potential conflict scenarios.

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